- Refractory products supplier RHI Magnesita said its first-half profit more than halved amid a slump in demand caused by the Covid-19 crisis at both its steel and industrial divisions.

Pre-tax profit for the six months through June slumped to €70m, down from €165m on-year, as revenue fell 24% to €1.71bn.

RHI Magnesita said activity levels were expected to remain subdued into the third quarter, with limited visibility thereafter.

Efficiency initiatives would support profitability in the second half and beyond, it added.

Net debt was stable at €666m and the company said it was in a 'strong' financial position, with liquidity of €1.1bn.

'Conditions in our key markets have been consistent with the assumptions made for our Covid-19 scenario planning work and we have reacted quickly to reduced demand by taking prudent measures to preserve cash and manage costs,' chief executive Stefan Borgas said.

'Whilst revenues and profits are down materially in the first half, the group has maintained double-digit operating margins and positive operating cash flow.

'The long-term economic impact of Covid-19 remains uncertain.'

'However, the business is taking appropriate actions to ensure it is able to manage effectively through an extended period of subdued demand.'

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