Salzgitter reports profits treble in third quarter

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Salzgitter, Germany's number two steelmaker, said on Friday it was holding to its full-year targets after earnings trebled in the third quarter.

Salzgitter said in a statement it booked net profit of 21 million euros ($28.7 million) in the period from July to September, up from 7.4 million euros a year earlier.

Pre-tax profit jumped to 39.1 million euros in the third quarter from 10.2 million euros a year earlier and sales rose by 18.5 percent to 2.558 billion euros.

Taking the nine months to September as a whole, net profit amounted to 114.7 million euros, compared with just 3.9 million euros a year earlier and sales climbed 18.4 percent to 7.331 billion euros.

That "presentable" performance was due "first and foremost to the generally favorable economic environment for rolled steel and tubes products," Salzgitter said.

"Demand for most of the products of the steel division continued to run at a high level well into the third quarter. Reticence in the order patterns of a number of customer sectors was only felt as from September," it said.

Looking ahead, Salzgitter said the eurozone debt crisis had led to "greater macroeconomic risks since the summer. Demand in many product segments is nonetheless comfortable, albeit at a more modest level."

Taking account of new orders placed in recent weeks, "which give rise to cautious optimism, we affirm our forecast for group pre-tax profit of 200 million euros" in the full year, it said.

© 2011 AFP

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