Steel Giant Evraz Returns to Profit in 2010

Russian steelmaker Evraz Group said March 31 it returned to profit in 2010 after posting a loss the previous year.

The company reported a $532 million net profit in 2010 after posting net losses of $292 million in 2009, down from earlier reported losses for the year of $1.26 billion. The statement attributed the discrepancy to changes in accounting procedures.

Evraz, partly owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, reaped benefits from the surge in global demand for the metal, with total earnings in 2010 reaching $2.35 billion, a year-on-year increase of 90%.

Its revenues grew by 37 percent to $13.39 billion.

"In 2010 we have seen the continuation of a recovery in steel demand across all our key markets," Evraz CEO Alexander Frolov was quoted as saying in the company statement.

In particular sales grew in North America due to increased demand for steel pipes for use in shale gas exploration projects, the statement quoted Frolov as saying.

The company predicted that demand for construction steel in Russia would grow by more than ten percent in 2011 and said it was seeing improved demand on global markets as the economy recovers.

The statement quoted the group's chief financial officer Giacomo Baizini as predicting that the 2011 first quarter core earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization would be in the range of $725 million to $800 million.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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