Thursday, March 27, 2008

China's Baosteel 2007 profit below forecasts

Baoshan Iron and Steel Co. <600019.SS>, China's top steel maker, reported on Wednesday a 3 percent fall in its net profit for last year, blaming weakness in the stainless steel market following a plunge in nickel prices.

Baosteel, which competes with POSCO <005490.KS> and Nippon Steel Corp. <5401.T> to supply the Chinese market, earned a net profit of 12.72 billion yuan ($1.81 billion) in 2007 against 13.08 billion yuan a year earlier.

Earnings per share fell to 0.73 yuan from 0.75 yuan. The year-earlier figures were restated slightly because of accounting rule changes.

The 2007 result was below an average forecast of 14.01 billion yuan, or 0.80 yuan per share, from five analysts polled by Reuters.

($1 = 7.03 yuan)

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