Corus net triples as global steel prices surge

Nov 29 | Updated: Nov 30 2006, 08:43am hrs
Corus Group Plc, the subject of a takeover battle between Tata Steel and Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA, said third-quarter profit rose because of a jump in steel prices and sales.

Net income increased to 141 million, or 15.76 pence a share, from 50 million, or 5.5 pence, a year earlier, London-based Corus said Wednesday. Sales climbed to 2.49 billion from 2.13 billion.

Corus, the UKs largest steel maker, increased prices by as much as 12% as Europes economy recovered. European cold-rolled steel, used in cars and construction, gained 11% in the quarter. Tata and CSN both want Corus to add mills in Europe that supply car makers including Ford Motor.

Steel prices were higher and energy prices stabilised, during the third quarter, Tom Muller, an analyst at Theodoor Gilissen in Amsterdam, said in an interview today. Its a good set of results.

Corus was vulnerable to a possible economic slowdown in Europe, said Muller, who doesnt have rating on the company. We are seeing a slowdown in the US now. Should that come over to Europe, no doubt we will see lower sales for steel makers, he said. But the big question with Corus is, who will buy them and for how much