A fire at a factory in the Dutch city of IJmuiden hit first-quarter results at Corus, now part of the Indian company Tata Steel.
The company, formed from a merger between British Steel and the Dutch steel producer Koninklijke Hoogovens, also blamed the depreciation of sterling against the Indian rupee for the decline of 17 per cent on the previous quarter.
At $293m (£188m), earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation were still stronger than in the same period last year, when Corus posted a loss of $399m.
Tata hailed stronger European demand in the aerospace and automotive industries, but Kirby Adams, chief executive of Corus, said longer-term sustainability depends on growth in the European construction sector, which makes up 40 per cent of the market for European steel and is projected to shrink for several years. Corus, the second largest steelmaker in Europe by volume, laid off more than 5,500 employees in 2009.Reuse content