Severstal posts rising profit in third quarter

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Russian steel giant Severstal said on Tuesday it had earned a net profit of 368 million dollars (269 million euros) in the third quarter as the sector recovers from the global economic crisis.

"The third quarter was a good result in market conditions which continue to be challenging," Severstal CEO Alexey Mordashov said in a statement.

The group returned to profit in the second quarter with net earnings of 192 million dollars after a loss of 785 million in the first quarter.

Sales increased by 43 percent in the first nine months of 2010 to 11.3 billion dollars said Severstal, which said it expects steel and raw materials prices slightly weaken or remain stable for the rest of this year and strengthen in 2011.

The company said it benefited in the third quarter from its diversification into other metals and minerals as raw material prices rose during the period of seasonal decline in steel demand.

© 2010 AFP

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