German heavy industry giant ThyssenKrupp said Tuesday that it had posted deep net losses in the third quarter of its business year. The group, which runs its business year from October to September, booked a net loss of 362 million euros ($481 million) for April to June. It said in a statement that it expected sales to improve in the fourth quarter but to slip for the year compared to the 2011-2012 when it reported 40.1 billion euros in turnover. ThyssenKrupp, Germany\'s top steel producer, also confirmed that the sale of its US and Brazilian activities was taking \"longer than expected\" but hoped that it could be completed soon. The group has called unloading its loss-making Steel Americas business a top priority. Germany, Europe\'s biggest crude steel maker, is set to produce less this year than in 2012 amid a struggling world market, its steel federation said Friday, lowering its forecast. Steel production is expected \"in all probability\" to fall one percent in 2013 from last year, to 42.2 million tonnes, the WVS federation said. It also said steel production in Germany, which is also the seventh biggest producer of crude steel in the world, saw a 5.4-percent drop in July compared to 2012, its sixth fall in a row. Earlier this month, Germany\'s second biggest steel producer Salzgitter issued a results warning for this year, citing a sombre outlook for the market and a structural crisis in the European sector resulting mainly from recession having hit some countries.