Higher Steel Price Lifts Sumitomo Metals’ Profit

Sumitomo Metal Industries will post record consolidated recurring profit at 260 billion yen for the year to March 2006, which is 10 billion yen more than recent estimate and much more than the former record in previous year. Mr. Fumio Hombe, executive vice president of Sumitomo Metals said the specialty products including seamless pipe and high-valued products for transport and industrial machinery contribute to the higher profit under the favorable market condition. The firm expects the averaged selling price of steel increases to 101,000 yen per tonne for the year to March 2006 from 76,800 yen in previous year. Mr. Hombe said the firm succeeded to pass higher cost of raw materials on the selling price. He said the better products mix also increased the averaged selling price with higher sales volume of seamless pile and lower sales of commodity grade products. He said the better price and products mix increases the profit by 201.3 billion yen for the year compared with previous year while the raw materials cost increases by 132 billion yen. The firm increases the raw steel output to 13.3 million tonnes including the operations in Kokura, Naoetsu and Wakayama for the year to March 2006 from 12.87 million tonnes in previous year. Mr. Hombe said the output increases under higher output of steel pipe and higher slab sales for China Steel of Taiwan. The firm increases the consolidated capital expenditure to 88 billion yen in construction cost base for the year to March 2006 from 60.3 billion yen in previous year. The firm expends 18 billion yen for independent power producer business, 8 billion yen for relining of no.3 blast furnace at Kashima works and 7 billion yen for new continuous galvanizing and pickling lines at Kashima. The firm keeps the high-level expenditure for investment for upper stream operations in Wakayama works in and after 2006.