ArcelorMittal beats estimates, sees signs of market recovery

BRUSSELS, July 30 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, reported higher than expected second quarter earnings and said it core markets were showing sign of recovery, albeit from exceptionally low levels.

The Luxembourg-based company said on Thursday second-quarter core profit (EBITDA), the figure most watched by the market, was $707 million, less than half the year-ago figure but far higher than the average forecast in a company poll of $482 million.

ArcelorMittal said steel shipments should improve in the third quarter from the second, when they declined by 23.7% from the first three months of the year.

Net debt fell to $7.8 billion at the end of June from $9.5 billion at the end of March. Because of the need to save costs, the company said it would only resume dividend payments once operating conditions normalise. (Reporting by Marine Strauss @StraussMarine; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)