On Friday, ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany's largest steelmaker, reported a hefty loss of 63 percent in the fiscal first quarter.

It also announced that it would cut jobs as the world economic crisis caused a sharp fall in demand for steel. In the past four months, payroll has seen a cut of 3,000 people.

The Duesseldorf-based company said net profit in the October through December period fell 63 percent to 163 million Euros ($210 million). Sales for the quarter fell by 6 percent to 11.5 billion Euros.

According to Thyssen, the orders for steel during the period fell by nearly 40 percent, while the demand for stainless steel fell 55 percent.

The drastic, and in this measure unforeseeable, fall in demand in steel and stainless steel and in international (building materials) affected our business considerably, Ekkehard Schulz, Thyssen's chief executive said, the Associated Press reported.

In the 2008-2009 business year, we expect a significant decline in sales. This will affect profits correspondingly.

According to Schulz, similar business conditions are expected in the second quarter and that a full-year outlook was difficult to make given the ongoing economic situation.

Despite the current situation he remained positive expecting to be able to report a profit for the 2009-2010 financial year.