China Steel Corp (CSC, 中鋼) yesterday reported a 10.66 percent decline in pretax profit for the first quarter from the same period a year ago because of losses at its unit in Vietnam.
Pretax profit for the nation’s only integrated steelmaker was NT$5.07 billion (US$168.1 million), down from NT$5.68 billion the previous year.
The figure was down 1.93 percent from NT$5.17 billion the previous quarter, the company said.
The Vietnamese unit — China Steel Sumikin Vietnam Joint Stock Co (CSVC, 中鋼住金越南公司) — became operational on Oct. 14 last year.
China Steel vice president Lin Chung-yi (林中義) said it would take three years for the Vietnamese unit to swing into the black.
“Vietnam and ASEAN are new markets for us,” Lin said by telephone.
“Our products are priced higher than other steel products sold in the region, and it might take some time before our customers accept the products,” he said.
Last quarter, the company sold 2.38 million tonnes of steel, up 2.1 percent from 2.33 million tonnes the previous quarter, but down 5.18 percent from 2.51 million tonnes a year ago.
Last month alone, pretax profit rose 36.42 percent to NT$2.06 billion, from NT$1.51 billion a month earlier, benefiting from larger shipments and higher steel prices, the company said.
The figure was 25.09 percent lower than NT$2.75 billion the previous year because of high steel prices a year ago, it said.
China Steel said that it shipped 837,120 tonnes last month, up 12.1 percent from 746,713 tonnes in February and 4.9 percent more than the almost 798,000 tonnes it shipped in March last year.