Ljubljana, 10 November (STA) - The Russian-owned SIJ steel group generated revenues of EUR 561.2m in the first nine months of the year, a jump of 9% on the same period a year ago. Net profit for the period amounted to EUR 25.5m, after the group broke even a year ago.
The group said it was on schedule to meet its annual targets of EUR 742m in revenues and EUR 32m in profit in a earnings release on Monday, as its sales expanded by around 7 percentage points more than the average growth in the sector.
Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the nine-month period was at EUR 66m, which is 86% more than in the first three quarters of 2013.
"The continued increase in profitability was caused by optimisation in key product lines and measures for consolidation and optimisation of group operations both at sales level and in other processes," SIJ said in the statement.
Exports of the group rose to EUR 485m to account for 86.6% of total sales. EU remained the key export market, while sales also rose in the US, which now accounts for 7.9% of all of SIJ's exports.
As part of the ongoing strategy of the group owned by Russia's Koks group, production is increasingly focused on high value added products, SIJ said.
In an effort to fund upgrades as part of implementing the strategy, SIJ announced today the issue of a five-year bond worth EUR 50m by 24 November. The coupon rate of the bonds which are to be traded on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange is to be set at 4.5%.