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Newsroom Strong increase in profit
April 24, 2003 11:30 CET

Strong increase in profit

Strong increase in profit SSAB today presented its accounts for the first quarter. Profit after financial items increased by SEK 232 million and amounted to SEK 414 (182) million. - The increase in profit is due to stronger margins in the steel operations, stated CEO Anders Ullberg in a comment on the report. The stronger margins are due to both higher prices and lower costs for raw materials. Prices were 9% higher than during the first quarter of last year and the lower costs for raw materials are due to a weaker dollar. - Processing costs were at the same level as in the final three quarters of last year. Compared with the first quarter of 2002, however, processing costs increased by 8%. We are continuing to focus on cost trends. A reasonable goal for 2003 is to eliminate, through rationalisation, costs that arise as a consequence of increased volumes and, thereby, to limit cost increases to wage increases, says Anders Ullberg. - Generally speaking, no increased demand for steel in Europe has yet been noted but, during 2003, we expect a continued increase in volumes in the steel operations and largely unchanged volumes in the trading and processing operations which are focused on the domestic market, says Anders Ullberg. - Pending the second quarter we have been able to increase sheet prices by approx. 2% in respect of the 50% of volumes that are renegotiated, states Anders Ullberg. The price increases are a consequence of the fact that the large West European steel producers are continuing to give priority to price over volume. - We are especially pleased to be able to note that our focus on the niche products of quenched steels and extra and ultra high-strength sheet is continuing to develop positively, concludes Anders Ullberg. We are continuing to increase deliveries to both existing and new customers. Deliveries of these niche products increased by 22% and 32% respectively compared with the first quarter of last year. In total, deliveries of our niche products, high-strength sheet and quenched steels, were 20% higher than last year and 6% higher than during the preceding quarter. Public affairs Ivar Ahlberg Telephone +46-70-541 85 86 ------------------------------------------------------------ This information was brought to you by Waymaker http://www.waymaker.net The following files are available for download: http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2003/04/24/20030424BIT00380/wkr0001.doc http://www.waymaker.net/bitonline/2003/04/24/20030424BIT00380/wkr0002.pdf