JFE Holdings to Step Forward Vietnam Steel Project in 2012

JFE Holdings’ vice president Shinichi Okada said to a reporter of Japan Metal Bulletin the firm tries to follow growing volume zone of steel demand especially in emerging country under the new 3-year plan through fiscal 2014 ending March 2015. He said the firm would decide the stance for the Vietnamese integrated steel project in the year. He said the Vietnamese project is one of the key for the firm to increase the group’s sales from current 30 million tonnes per year to 40-50 million tonnes in 5 years or more.

Mr. Okada said the firm clearly adds growing volume zone of steel market especially for infrastructure and construction for the target under the 3-year plan while the firm tried to focus on high grade steel market. He said the firm utilizes local makers’ steel source to expand the sales volume as the group companies. He said the Vietnamese integrated steel works would be the driving force as a part of the 10-20 years strategy.

JFE Holdings announced 1 trillion yen of investment from own fund for 3 years through fiscal 2014. Mr. Okada said the firm adjusts the investment depending on the profit and priority. He said the firm will use each 500 billion yen for domestic and offshore businesses. He said the firm allocates the domestic budget to improve profitability through cost reduction projects including wider utilization of lower grade raw materials. He said the firm expects around 200 billion yen of investment each for offshore steel projects and offshore raw materials projects.

Mr. Okada said the interest bearing debt was around 1.6 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2011, which was around 100 billion yen higher than a year earlier due to increase of working capital under higher raw materials cost. He said the firm tries to reduce the debt by around 100 billion yen through limited investment and lower inventory.

JFE Holdings targets 400 billion yen of consolidated recurring profit with 4 trillion yen of the sales for fiscal 2014. The firm would realize 300 billion yen of recurring profit for JFE Steel for fiscal 2014. Mr. Okada said the engineering and shipbuilding businesses would post total 20 billion yen or more of the profit for fiscal 2014 and JFE Shoji Trade Corporation could post more than 30 billion yen of the profit.