Wuhan Steel reports solid production gains
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China's second largest steelmaker, Wuhan Steel, increased its first half sales revenue 38.8 percent year on year to RMB 25.1 billion ($3.03 billion) thanks to strong production gains across the board. The company produced 4.93 million tons of iron in the first half of 2005, up 20.9 percent from the previous year. Wuhan also churned out 5.08 million tons of steel, 18.4 percent better than the first half of 2004, while finished steel production climbed 14.5 percent to 4.66 million tons. The steelmaker exported 550'000 tons of production during the first six months of 2005. Even though rising production costs and falling domestic steel prices cut into the company's profit margins, Wuhan still reported a 38.8 percent year-on-year profit gain to reach RMB 4.25 billion ($514 million). Wuhan Steel set RMB 7 billion ($846 million) as its profit goal for 2005. There is a chance, however, that the company may not make its target despite its strong first half. Last week, the company announced that it would cut prices on most of its steel products by 10% in August. The news led to a 2.93% decline in the company's stock prices.
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