AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) has received two "Awards for Steel Excellence" from American Metal Market (AMM), a leading metal industry publication. The company was named "Steel Producer of the Year" and presented the award for "Best Turnaround of the Decade."
"It is an honor to receive this outstanding recognition from American Metal Market," said James L. Wainscott, AK Steel Chairman, President and CEO. "These awards reflect the character of our company and the can-do spirit of the men and women at AK Steel."
As a result of the company's performance during the global economic downturn of 2009, AK Steel was named "Steel Producer of the Year." The company was rated Number One by its carbon and specialty steel customers in overall satisfaction, quality and delivery for the year 2009, and led its major competitors in operating profit per ton during the fourth quarter of 2009. The award also reflects AK Steel's ability to provide exceptional service and an uninterrupted supply of value-added steel products to its customers throughout the recession.
In addition, AK Steel was honored by AMM for achieving the industry's "Best Turnaround of the Decade," reflecting the company's financial transformation that began in the fall of 2003. Under Mr. Wainscott's leadership, AK Steel's earnings grew from an adjusted pre-tax loss of approximately $432 million in 2003 to record adjusted pre-tax income of $693 million in 2008. In addition, the company decreased its net debt from $1.2 billion in 2003 to less than $150 million at the end of 2009. From 2003 through the end of 2009, AK Steel reduced its net debt, pension and OPEB liabilities by about 2.2 billion, or approximately 51 percent. And, throughout the decade, AK Steel's carbon and specialty steel customers consistently rated the company Number One in overall product quality and customer satisfaction.
AK Steel was also a finalist for AMM's award for "Best Operational Improvements."
According to American Metal Market, the "Awards for Steel Excellence" celebrate and recognize advancements in pioneering and implementing business improvements that have delivered real change to the steel industry.