Arcelor Mittal Expects Steel Production To Be 220 Million Tons By 2015

World's largest steelmaker says global steel consumption will increase by three percent to fivepercent over next 10 years.

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) — Arcelor SA and Mittal Steel Co. NV said Wednesday they expect their new merged company, the world's largest steelmaker, to produce between 150 million and 200 million metric tons (220 million tons) of steel by 2015.

The companies said global steel consumption would grow by three percent to five percent by year for the next ten years. ''Strong organic and external growth should lead Arcelor Mittal to a new dimension of 150-200 million tons by 2015,'' the company said in a set of slides posted on its Web site.

Arcelor Mittal is being formed by the $31.9 billion merger of Mittal Steel Co. NV and Arcelor SA.

The new CEO Roland Junck warned investors that steelmakers would have to reckon with higher raw material costs in the future.

Speaking to investors in London, he said the companies believe they can save $1.6 billion in synergies in the first three years of the merger as they cut costs on manufacturing, marketing and purchasing.

Arcelor Mittal's board of directors on Wednesday announced an annual base dividend of $1.30  that would rise as the company grew. This dividend would be paid quarterly, it said.

As part of plans to return 30 percent of net income to shareholders every year, it said it would also buy back shares and would give more details when it publishes its annual results.

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