Bloomberg News

Maanshan Steel Profit Gains 5.3% as Prices Stabilize

October 18, 2006

Maanshan Iron & Steel (600808) Co., China's second-biggest Hong Kong-listed steelmaker, posted a 5.3 percent rise in profit in the third quarter as a slowdown in the country's steel output stabilized a fall in steel prices.

Net income rose to 607.4 million yuan ($76.8 million), or 0.094 yuan a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from 577 million yuan, or 0.0894 yuan a year earlier, the company said in a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange, citing domestic accounting standards. Sales rose to 9.34 billion yuan from 8.1 billion yuan.

Declines in steel prices stalled as government measures to curb excessive steel capacity and close obsolete plants slowed production. China's crude steel output rose 8 percent to 241 million metric tons in the first eight months this year after rising 27 percent in 2005. China supplies about a third of the world's steel.

Steel prices will pick up in 2007 as the growth of crude steel capacity slows and the industry consolidates, JPMorgan & Chase Co. said in a July 7 report.

Maanshan Steel's shares closed unchanged at HK$2.90 in Hong Kong before the earnings were released. The shares have gained about 21 percent this year, less than with a 25 percent increase in the Hang Seng China Enterprise Index.

To contact the reporter for this story: Helen Yuan in Shanghai at hyuan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Gosman in Singapore at kgosman@bloomberg.net


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