Evraz, Russia's second largest steel producer, said it expects first quarter core earnings of $400 million (Dh1.46 billion) as markets improve following a difficult 2009, which saw the group post a net loss of $1.26bn.
Steel makers in Russia, the world's fourth-largest producer, suffered a slump in orders from the construction and automotive sectors as the global economic slowdown cut demand for much of 2009.
However, the situation improved markedly towards the end of last year as domestic mills returned to full capacity to meet increased export demand.
"We expect first quarter 2010 EBITDA to be somewhat higher than that for the fourth quarter of 2009, and we anticipate a figure in the order of $400m," chief financial officer Giacomo Baizini said in a statement yesterday.
"The impact of rising prices is expected to be reflected in our financial performance in 2010." Last year's net figure missed an average net loss of $1.07bn forecast in a poll of analysts. Troika Dialog analysts said that in the past two months, billet and slab prices have surged by $140 and $90 per tonne, respectively. In 2009, Evraz's earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation reached $1.24bn, compared with $6.22bn in 2008 and below the poll forecast of $1.28bn.