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Cleveland-Cliffs completed the purchase of ArcelorMittal USA in December of last year.

Cleveland-Cliffs ends 2020 on 'particularly high note,' CEO says

The company forecasts a 320 percent increase in Q4 2020 revenue.

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January 27, 2021

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., headquartered in Cleveland, has announced preliminary fourth-quarter financial results for the period ended Dec. 31, 2020. However, because of the extensive accounting integration associated with the completed purchase of ArcelorMittal USA in December, the company has released selected preliminary financial information, saying it will announce full fourth-quarter 2020 earnings before the U.S. market opens Thursday, Feb. 25.

The preliminary results include the entire fourth-quarter 2020 period for the AK Steel and legacy Cleveland-Cliffs businesses and the performance of Cleveland-Cliffs Steel (formerly ArcelorMittal USA) from Dec. 9, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

Cleveland-Cliffs reports fourth-quarter 2020 consolidated revenue of approximately $2.2 to $2.3 billion, which is nearly a 320 percent increase over the prior-year period.

Fourth-quarter 2020 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of approximately $280 to $290 million, which is roughly a 150 percent increase over the prior-year period, and a six-year high, according to the company.

It’s fourth-quarter 2020 steel sales volume totaled 1.9 million net tons.

Also during the quarter, Cleveland-Cliff’s direct-reduction plant recently built in Toledo, Ohio, began operations, with production of hot briquetted iron (HBI) starting in December. Cliffs says it anticipates shipping HBI to third-party customers later in the first quarter of 2021 and expects the plant to reach its full production rate by the second quarter of 2021.

Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs chairman, president and CEO, says, “We ended 2020 on a particularly high note. With the completion of our second transformational acquisition creating the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America and the startup of the most modern and environmentally friendly direct reduction plant in the world, Cliffs enters 2021 with the right size, the right product mix and the right customer mix for the business environment in which we operate.”

He adds that the company’s fourth-quarter results “are just a sample of what we should be able to accomplish in 2021, when the contributions of the recent acquisition of ArcelorMittal USA and the sales of HBI to third-party customers will be fully reflected in the numbers.”

Goncalves adds that “Cleveland-Cliffs will continue to benefit from our differentiated business model with self-sufficiency in pellets and HBI” in an environment of resilient steel pricing and growing competition for an increasingly scarce scrap supply in 2021 and beyond.

A live broadcast of the conference call with securities analysts and institutional investors to discuss the results is scheduled for Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. eastern time. The call can be accessed at www.clevelandcliffs.com and will also be archived and available for replay at that address.

With its recent purchases of ArcelorMittal USA and AK Steel, Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest flat-rolled steel producer in North America. Cliffs also is the largest supplier of iron ore pellets in North America. Its portfolio includes custom-made pellets and HBI; flat-rolled carbon steel, stainless, electrical, plate, tin and long steel products; carbon and stainless steel tubing, hot and cold stamping and tooling.