Steelmaker SSAB to cut costs to weather coronavirus impact

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish steelmaker SSAB announced a raft of cost-cutting measures on Wednesday as it aimed to generate annual savings of more than 1 billion crowns ($100 million) to cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic.

The company said the measures included short-time work schemes for staff and adjusted production levels.

“Annualized savings from the short-term actions are estimated to exceed SEK 1 billion,” SSAB said in a statement.

“Production levels will be adjusted to the demand situation as required, and as an example production in Borlange and Hameenlinna is planned to be closed one week per month during at least April and May.”

SSAB, one of the largest steel plate producers in the United States though it still generates the bulk of its revenues in Europe, said on Sunday it was cancelling its planned dividend for 2019 due to uncertainties over the impact of the pandemic.

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard