Sweden’s SSAB posts bigger-than-expected profits as steel prices soar


STOCKHOLM, April 26 (Reuters) – Swedish steelmaker SSAB (SSABa.ST) reported a bigger-than-expected rise in first-quarter profit on Tuesday due to strong steel prices, but said that the outlook for demand and deliveries was hampered by some uncertainty.

The specialist producer of high-strength steels made a record profit last year on the back of soaring steel prices and strong output from its production plants in Sweden, Finland and the United States, a evolution which continued until 2022.

The niche steelmaker said operating profit excluding extraordinary items rose to 8.38 billion Swedish krona ($864 million) from 1.99 billion a year ago to beat analysts’ estimate of 6.66 billion Refinitiv.

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The company said in a statement that the first quarter saw an “exceptional” increase in demand due to constraints on steel supply following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls an “operation”. special military”.

“Steel demand in the second quarter of 2022 is expected to normalize and therefore be at a slightly lower level than in the first quarter,” the company said.

“There remain uncertainties with a shortage of components as well as bottlenecks in supply chains.”

The Swedish steelmaker warned in early February that repair work after an unplanned breakdown at one of its blast furnaces in Raahe, Finland, would cut first-quarter profits by around 600 million crowns.

($1 = 9.6965 Swedish kronor)

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Reporting by Niklas Pollard; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Subhranshu Sahu

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