China Steel Corp (中鋼) yesterday said its pre-tax loss narrowed sharply in the first quarter, helped by higher investment gains and surging sales last month.
Pre-tax losses totaled NT$978 million (US$33.07 million) in the first quarter, NT$1.44 billion less than the previous quarter’s loss of NT$2.42 billion, the nation’s largest and only integrated steelmaker said in a statement.
That translates into a pre-tax loss per share of NT$0.065, compared with a loss per share of NT$0.161 in the final quarter of last year.
The Greater Kaohsiung-based steel mill booked NT$532 million in investment gains in the first quarter, up from NT$364 million in the previous quarter.
Higher sales of steel products last month helped the company swing into profit from February and contributed to the quarterly drop in pre-tax losses, the statement said.
Sales increased 17.73 percent to NT$20.09 billion last month, from NT$17.07 billion in February, and shipments rose 18.91 percent to 811,271 tonnes from 682,300 tonnes in the previous month, resulting in a pre-tax profit of NT$329 million last month versus a loss of NT$572 million the month before, company data showed.
In the January-to-March period, revenue reached NT$53.61 billion, dropping 8.16 percent from NT$58.37 billion in the previous quarter and 5.14 percent from NT$56.51 billion in the same period last year, according to the statement.
Shipments also declined to 2.14 million tonnes from 2.2 million tonnes three months ago and compared with 2.29 million tonnes a year earlier, data showed.
China Steel president Andrew Sung (宋志育) said on March 22 that rising orders from downstream industries could help the company turn profitable this quarter. Orders are expected to increase by up to 10 percent sequentially in the second quarter, Sung said at the time.
Meanwhile, Tung Ho Steel Enterprise Corp (東和鋼鐵), the nation’s second-largest steelmaker by market value, and Feng Hsin Iron & Steel Co (豐興鋼鐵), the nation’s third-largest steel mill, also released their sales for last month and the first quarter.
Tung Ho said sales increased 13.87 percent to NT$3.54 billion last month from February, while first-quarter revenue rose 5.1 percent sequentially to NT$9.5 billion. The company has yet to release its pre-tax earnings for the first quarter. It posted NT$345.57 million pre-tax profit in the fourth quarter and NT$851.36 million profit in the first quarter of last year.
Feng Hsin said sales increased 13.5 percent to NT$3.52 billion last month from February, while quarterly revenue dropped 11.45 percent sequentially to NT$8.95 billion. The company’s pre-tax profit totaled NT$381.77 million, or earnings per share of NT$0.66, in the first quarter, down 13.21 percent from the previous quarter and 44.98 percent lower than a year earlier.