* Q3 op loss 18 mln euros vs forecast 6.4 mln loss in poll
* Sees H2 operating loss bigger than in H1
* Shares fall 3.6 pct
(Rewrites lead, adds unit results, shares, CEO comment)
HELSINKI, Oct 23 Finnish steelmaker Rautaruukki
warned of a bigger second-half operating loss on
Tuesday, cutting its forecast for the second time in four weeks
under pressure from lower prices and a weakening global economy.
The company's shares fell 3.6 percent after it reported a
larger-than-expected third-quarter loss.
Steelmakers across the world are suffering from
overcapacity, weak demand in austerity-ravaged European markets
and slower growth in China.
The world's fourth-biggest steelmaker POSCO said
on Tuesday it expected fourth-quarter earnings to fall from the
third quarter, adding a sharp recovery in the global steel
market was unlikely next year.
Only last month, Rautaruukki said it expected a second-half
loss around the same level as the 8 million euros loss it
reported in January-June.
But for the third quarter alone, the underlying operating
loss was 18 million euros ($24 million), much worse than the
average forecast of 6.4 million euros given by analysts in a
A year ago the group made a third-quarter profit of 1
Chief Executive Sakari Tamminen said customers seemed wary
of making investment decisions due to the uncertain economic
Rautaruukki's steelmaking unit was particularly weak, with
its operating loss widening to 18 million euros from a
3-million-euro loss a year earlier. Its construction and
engineering units were also weaker than a year ago.
The company warned last month it would make an operating
loss this year, and would cut around 250 jobs to reduce costs.
Last week it said it would spin off part of its engineering
business as a new company in partnership with Komas, aiming to
focus on improving its steel and construction business.
(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by Mark Potter)