SINGAPORE Hyundai Steel Co. Ltd. saw its net profit plunge in the first quarter amid weak steel prices and lost production resulting from the shutdown of its hot-rolled coil facilities for maintenance, the company said.
South Koreas second-largest steel producer posted net income of 20 billion won ($18 million) for the three months ended March 31, down 90.8 percent sequentially from 217 billion won and 87.3 percent lower than the 158 billion won recorded in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the quarter came in at 2.78 trillion won ($2.5 billion), down 16 percent quarter on quarter from 3.31 billion won and a drop of 21.7 percent year on year from 3.55 billion won.
The decline was largely within expectations, New York-based ratings agency Moodys Investors Service Inc. said April 29.
The companys combined production volume for long and flat steel products in the January-to-March period totaled 3.37 million tonnes, down 15 percent from 9.96 million tonnes in the fourth quarter and was 14.4 percent below the year-earlier 3.94 million tonnes. Combined sales volumes for the two segments totaled 3.43 million tonnes, down 16.1 percent and 13.2 percent in the same comparisons.
Looking forward, the Incheon-based steelmaker said it expects global steel demand to increase in the second half of the year as emerging markets recover.
On the home front, domestic auto production is expected to increase 1.5 percent this year, while shipbuilding production is forecast to remain flat from compared with 2012 levels.
Hyundai Steelalso expects domestic construction investments this year to increase 1.6 percent.
A version of this article was first published by AMM sister publication Steel First.