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Operating profit of POSCO jumps 94% in Q1

POSCO Group posted an operating profit of 659.8 billion won ($582 million) in the first quarter, a 93.7 percent increase over the same period last year, the nation’s top steelmaker said Thursday.

The combined net profit also skyrocketed 221.9 percent to 352.5 billion won in the same period, thanks to performance improvements in steel-making and trading businesses.

Revenue of POSCO and its key affiliates including POSCO Daewoo, however, fell 10.3 percent to 12.46 trillion won in the January-March period from the previous quarter.

“The business upturn in the group’s steel-making unit in the first quarter was attributed to product price hikes by Chinese steelmakers and surge in sales of POSCO’s high-value added premium products like the automotive steel products,’’ a POSCO spokesperson said.

The jump in the profits is a good start to turn around this year, industry watchers said.

POSCO logged its first-ever net loss of 96 billion won in 2015, due to weak global demand for steel products and adverse currency movements.

As to the performance outlook for 2016, POSCO has set a consolidated sales target of 58.7 billion won.

Despite the continued market volatility, the Korean steel giant said it will invest 2.8 trillion won, a 300 billion won increase from a year ago.

By Seo Jee-yeon

(jyseo@heraldcorp.com)
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