Tata Steel Profit Up 215% in Q2

Earnings from Corus acquisition helped

Tata Steel, the world's sixth-largest steelmaker reported on Dec. 2 consolidated second quarterly net profit jumped over 215%, lifted by earnings from its British unit Corus.

For the three months to September consolidated net profit rose to 47.03 billion rupees (US$930 million) from 14.89 billion rupees a year earlier, the company said. Half-yearly earnings showed that the company's net profit rose 121% at 86.18 billion rupees (US$1.7 billion) from 38.98 billion rupees a year ago.

"We have had an outstanding first half, backed by good prices and strong integration benefits," B.Muthuraman, chief executive of Tata Steel said.

The company, part of the sprawling Tata Group conglomerate, was catapulted to sixth biggest steelmaker from 56th after buying Anglo-Dutch company Corus for $13.7 billion last year. The merged Tata Steel-Corus company plans to produce 25.6 million tons annually. Tata said it was planning to acquire iron ore from mines in Canada and South Africa, which would be supplied to Corus.

Tata Steel officials said that raw material prices, which had already softened, could move lower.

Global steel prices are in the $600-650 per ton range, way below recent highs of $1,200 per ton.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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