Total steel shipments for 1H 2012 were marginally lower at 43.9 million metric tonnes as compared with 44.1 million metric tonnes at 1H 2011.
Sales for 1H 2012 decreased by 4.5% to $45.2 billion as compared with $47.3 billion for 1H 2011 primarily due to lower average steel selling prices (-5.9%) and marginally lower steel shipments (-0.5%).
Depreciation of $2.3 billion for 1H 2012 was comparable with 1H 2011.
Impairment charges for 1H 2012 totaled $69 million, primarily related to the extended idling of the electric arc furnace and continuous caster at the Schifflange site in Luxembourg (Long Carbon Europe). Impairment expense for 1H 2011 was $18 million relating to a rolling facility in the Long Carbon Americas segment.
Restructuring charges for 1H 2012 totaled $297 million and consisted largely of costs associated with the implementation of the Asset Optimisation Plan primarily impacting Flat Carbon Europe and Long Carbon Europe operations as well as costs associated with the project to close two blast furnaces, sinter plant, steel shop and continuous casters in Liege, Belgium. Costs related to Liege were recognized following the consultation process with employee representatives. There were no such restructuring charges in 1H 2011.
Operating income for 1H 2012 was $1.8 billion, compared with operating income of $3.7 billion for 1H 2011. Operating income during 1H 2012 was positively impacted by $580 million of one-time impacts: changes to the employee benefit plans at Dofasco led to curtailment gains of $241 million, and the Skyline Steel divestment
led to a gain of $339 million.
Operating performance for 1H 2012 was also positively impacted by $295 million of dynamic delta hedge (“DDH”) income recognized during the period. Operating performance for 1H 2011 was positively impacted by $308 million DDH income and a non-cash gain of $336 million recorded in the first quarter of 2011 relating to the reversal of provisions for inventory write-downs and litigation.