Steel producer ArcelorMittal South Africa (AMSA) expects its headline loss for the six months ended June 30 to increase by at least R2-billion.
It said in a trading update on July 16 that its loss for the period would increase by at least R1.7-billion.
The company, which will release its interim results on July 30, said the first half of this year had proved to be an "incredibly difficult period given the extraordinary and widespread impacts on social and business freedoms wrought by the global Covid-19 pandemic".
Further, AMSA's operations had already been negatively impacted on by weaker than anticipated demand, production interruptions as a result of load-shedding and raw material train cancellations and delays owing to an increase in cable theft during the first quarter of the year.
"The consequential stop-start impacts of these events are beginning to materially impact on the reliability of plant and equipment, and diluting the improved underlying performance of the business.
"AMSA remains steadfast in making the difficult decisions to position the business for sustainability through these future-shaping events. Consequently, having reassessed it strategic asset footprint for 2020, it has been decided to idle Blast Furnace C at Vanderbijlpark, and the Vereeniging electric arc furnace until demand recovers," it stated.