Bloomberg News

Ezz Steel Climbs to Two-Month High as Sales Jump: Cairo Mover

January 31, 2012

Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Ezz Steel surged to the highest in more than two months after Egypt’s biggest publicly traded producer of the metal reported a 22 percent increase in nine- month sales.

The shares of the Cairo-based company climbed 4.8 percent to 5.64 Egyptian pounds, the highest close since Nov. 13, at 2:30 p.m. in Cairo. A gain of 51 percent this month has lifted the company’s market value to 3.1 billion Egyptian pounds ($514 million). The benchmark EGX 30 Index advanced 2.6 percent, bringing the gain this month to 28 percent.

Sales in the period that ended Sept. 30 advanced to 14.2 billion pounds from a year-earlier, the company said in a statement today. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 20 percent to 1.9 billion pounds.

“Operations are as healthy as ever with a 15 percent increase in volumes sold and the 1.8 billion pounds in cash flow from operations,” said Omar Taha, a research analyst at Beltone Securities Brokerage in Cairo. “What has dragged down profits has mostly been an accounting treatment for deferred taxes during the first quarter.”

Profit for the period declined to 179 million pounds from 242 million pounds a year earlier on a higher tax rate, it said.

Shares of Ezz Steel, which had two of its production licenses stripped by court order last year because of irregularities in the awarding process, plunged 81 percent last year. The Egyptian government will honor the licenses in exchange for 660 million pounds, an amount determined by the court, to be financed over five years, Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade Mahmoud Issa said Jan. 7.

--Editors: Claudia Maedler, Shaji Mathew

To contact the reporter on this story: Ahmed A Namatalla in Cairo at anamatalla@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net


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