31 Jul 2008

Steel prices boost Arcelor profit

7:50 am on 31 July 2008

Second-quarter profits at ArcelorMittal have more than doubled after an increase in prices by the world's largest steelmaker.

Profits were $US5.8 billion in the three months to 30 June, compared with $US2.7b a year earlier.

The company said it had achieved "significant" price increases in contracts which had been renegotiated.

It also added that efforts to secure its own access to raw materials amid sky-high global prices were paying off.

The company now supplies 45% of its own iron ore and 20% of its own coking coal.

Shipments of steel rose only slightly to 29.8 million metric tonnes. The company said global demand for steel was losing pace.

Arcelor forecasts growth of 3 to 5% this year, down from 7% in recent years.

The company was created by Mittal Steel's 2006 takeover of Arcelor. The group employs 310,000 staff.