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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German steel distributor Kloeckner & Co (KCOGn.DE) has given up hope of breaking even this year as demand for steel remains low, its chief financial officer told a German newspaper.
"To reach a positive pretax result (in 2013) we would need a very strong second half of the year. And that is not in sight," Marcus Ketter told Boersen-Zeitung.
He added however that Kloeckner & Co would return to profit in 2014 as restructuring efforts started to bear fruit. Ketter also said he did not expect steel prices in Europe to fall any further.
Kloeckner & Co had originally said it expected its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), excluding restructuring costs, to come to about 200 million euros this year, but warned in May that the goal seemed increasingly ambitious.
Second quarter EBITDA of 35 to 40 million euros came in at the lower end of the guidance, Ketter told the newspaper.
Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Sophie Walker