Steel Makers Showing Good Quarter

Steel makers did very well this quarter.

ThyssenKrupp, Germany's biggest steel maker, said May 13 that bottom-line profits increased three-fold in the second quarter of the current year and the group was on course for a rise in full-year earnings. ThyssenKrupp said in its interim report that it booked net profit of 1.045 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in the three months to December, up from 345 million euros a year earlier. Second-quarter sales climbed by 12% to 10.48 billion euros and incoming orders rose by nine percent to 11.14 billion euros.

Salzgitter, Germany's second-biggest steel maker, said May 13 that profits soared in the first three months of the current year as a result of strong global demand. Salzgitter said in a statement it booked bottom-line net profit of 173.5 million euros ($220 million) in the period from January to March, up from 20.1 million euros a year earlier. Pre-tax profit rose even faster, soaring to 253.5 million euros from 26.2 million euros on a 36% jump in sales to 1.76 billion euros.

The Evraz Group, Russia's largest steelmaker, reported a five-fold increase in net profit last year to $1.08 billion dollars (850 million euros), as the company plans to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange. The group's revenue grew to $5.9 billion in 2004 from $2.1 billion the year before. The group benefited from a bounce in the steel market last year, driven by strong demand from China as well as improving margins in its production costs. Evraz, which owns three steel mills along with iron ore and coal mines, produced 13.7 million tons of steel in 2004.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005

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