MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
As I report upon my first earnings quarter since assuming as Cliffs Chairman and CEO, I am proud to share that our team marked accomplishments against every element of our 90-day plan. We are taking all necessary actions to improve our overall profitability – fortifying our U.S. Iron Ore foundation, and streamlining our non-core assets.
We have a sharp focus on improving the Company’s overall profitability, and EBITDA is our key indicator to evaluate performance. Through deep cost-cutting and enhanced productivity, United States Iron Ore and Asia Pacific Iron Ore generated nearly $300 million in adjusted EBITDA this quarter. North American Coal was slightly positive at the EBITDA line, a remarkable accomplishment in a depressed met coal market.
Areas that have been a drain on our cash and profitability are being addressed. We are implementing closure plans for the idled Wabush Mine, and eliminating functions, offices and activities contributing to high corporate overhead. Bloom Lake Mine has some of the best-quality iron ore in the world, with great DR-pellet potential. However, if we cannot secure equity partners required for Phase II infrastructure by year’s end, we will consider closure or other permanent options, as we will not continue to produce at Bloom Lake and sell at a loss in 2015 and beyond.
Building on the strength of our U.S. Iron Ore business, tremendous opportunities lie ahead. Cliffs is refocusing on our core, executing a disciplined, thoughtful strategy with experienced management and a CEO ready to work hard. The past is over, and the present is a lot of work to bring a profitable future for Cliffs. We will reward our long-term shareholders and our loyal Cliffs’ employees.
Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc.