With the global steel market gradually stabilizing, the China Steel Corp. (CSC), the biggest steelmaker in Taiwan, chalked up pretax profits of NT$3.009 billion, amounting to about NT$0.2 per share, during the first two months of this year.
The CPC's latest financial report shows cumulative consolidated revenue for the period totaling NT$60.872 billion, up 6.38% year-on-year (YoY). The NT$28.559 billion earned in February alone, however, was down 13.3% month-on-month (MoM) and 15.58% YoY, due mainly to fewer working days.
In February, the company's carbon steel sales reached 746,000 tons, down 5.7% from the 791,000 tons sold in January but 20,000 tons more than its sales goal. Pretax profits on these sales grew 1% MoM, however, to NT$1.51 billion.
CSC directors explained that the reason revenue and profits showed opposite results in February, when raw materials prices and selling prices were almost unchanged from the previous month, was some NT$300 million in additional income from a claim paid to its subsidiary, the China Steel Express Corp., a shipping company.
Thanks to recovering market demand, the CSC has so far received first-quarter orders for nearly 3 million tons of steel--more than its sales target of 2.91 million tons for the quarter--giving rise to optimistic expectations that sales in the second quarter will grow by over 2.5%.
With the CSC's nominal prices for March being higher than those for the January-February period, institutional investors generally forecast a further profit surge for the month.
As to the outlook for the coming months, CPC's chairman, J.C. Tsou, believes that the Asian steel market is likely to gain considerable steam starting in the second half of this year, particularly with increasingly strong demand in Japan, where the government has kicked off the construction of facilities for the Olympic games in 2020 and the local demand for reconstruction in the northeastern parts of the country hit by the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011 has also been brisk since the second half of last year.
Moreover, Tsou reported, other positive factors for the health of the Asian market are that Chinese steelmakers have generally cut output to avoid a replay of last year's oversupply, and that Japanese steelmakers are putting put priority on their domestic market despite the depreciation of the Japanese yen, which has fallen over 20% since last year. Under these conditions, the chairman said, his company is likely to garner increased export orders from the increasingly stable Asian market. (SC)
|CSC's Performance by Year|
| Consolidated Revenue
|| NT$350.20 Bn.
|| NT$401.03 Bn.
|| NT$358.54 Bn.
|| NT$347.83 Bn.
| Net Profits
|| NT$37.587 Bn.
|| NT$19.494 Bn.
|| NT$5.811 Bn.
|| NT$23.207 Bn. |
| Earnings per Share
|| NT$1.50 |
|CSC's EPS for Past 6 Months|
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