Middletown, OH, April 25, 2003—AK Steel (NYSE: AKS) reported a net loss of $40.8 million, or $0.38 per diluted share of common stock, for the first quarter of 2003.  Net sales were $1,002.4 million, on shipments of 1,365,400 tons.  AK Steel said its average flat-rolled selling price was $702 per ton, about 2% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2002, but about 6% higher than in the year-ago first quarter.  Shipments in the 2003 first quarter were about 4% below the fourth quarter of 2002 level and about 5% below the year-ago first quarter level.   AK Steel said it had reduced shipments to the appliance, construction and manufacturing markets due to weak demand, and to the spot market as a result of lower than expected prices.

AK Steel said its results equated to an operating loss of $40.6 million, or $30 per ton shipped for the quarter. The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were a positive $19 million, equal to $14 per ton shipped, which is reconciled to the reported net loss in the supplemental schedules included with this earnings report.

AK Steel said the 2003 first quarter was adversely impacted by lower overall production volumes and significantly higher costs for natural gas, as well as for pensions and healthcare benefits.  Higher costs were also incurred for scrap and for an unplanned maintenance outage at the company’s Middletown, Ohio blast furnace.

“Our first quarter results were disappointing,” said chairman and CEO Richard M. Wardrop, Jr.  “Fundamentally, higher input costs, rising pension and healthcare expenses and chronic over-capacity continue to hamper meaningful recovery in the U.S. steel industry,” Mr. Wardrop said.

AK Steel produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products for automotive, appliance, construction and manufacturing markets, as well as tubular steel products. AK Steel also produces snow and ice control products, and operates an industrial park on the Houston, Texas ship channel.  Visit the company’s home page at www.aksteel.com for more information.  

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