Strong Cash Flow Reduces Outstanding Debt Board Declares Regular Quarterly Cash Dividend CLEVELAND, Aug. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Olympic Steel, Inc.,(Nasdaq:ZEUS), a national metals service center, today announced financial results for the second quarter and six months ended June 30, 2013. Net sales for the 2013 second quarter totaled $330.8 million, a 10.0% decrease from the $367.4 million reported in last year's comparable period. For the six months, net sales declined 10.7% to $668.9 million, compared with $749.4 million in the first half of 2012. For the second quarter, net income totaled $2.5 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, versus net income of $4.5 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, in 2012's comparable quarter. Net income was $7.7 million, or $0.69 per diluted share, for the first half of this year, compared with $10.8 million, or $0.98 per diluted share, in last year's first half. For the first half of 2013, LIFO income increased earnings by $0.13 per basic and diluted share. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Siegal commented, "The first half of 2013 was characterized by lower sales volume and average selling prices compared with last year. However, despite the external headwinds, Olympic Steel successfully improved consolidated gross margin, lowered inventory levels and generated strong free cash flow. A portion of the excess cash has been used to reduce debt by more than $34 million since the beginning of this year. "In addition," he continued, "our capital expenditures were only 38% of our first-half budget, coming in at $3.8 million, which reinforces our commitment to spending less than our annual depreciation. Operating expenses were flat, albeit up as a percentage of sales, compared with last year's first half. We reduced variable expenses, offsetting higher fixed depreciation and occupancy costs related to our growth initiatives.