Baosteel’s net profit for 2013 a four-year low

Overcapacity and slower growth of demand for steel will continue to squeeze the profitability of Chinese steelmakers in 2014, Baosteel said as it reported a 42.3% fall in net profit for 2013.

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Its net profit dropped to 5.82 billion yuan ($944.52 million) in 2013, compared with 10.09 billion yuan ($1.64 billion) in 2012, according to its annual report released on Saturday March 29.

The 2013 net profit was also the lowest since 2009.

Baosteel’s operating revenue slipped 0.76% on the year to 189.69 billion yuan ($30.78 billion) last year, which it attributed to lower sales volumes and prices.

The steelmaker – one of China’s biggest – sold 21.99 million tonnes of steel products in 2013, down 6.7% on an annual basis.

It sold 9.44 million tonnes of cold rolled coil in 2013, up 0.2% year-on-year, and 8.1 million tonnes of hot rolled coil, up 1% on the year.

Baosteel continue to control 50% of the market share for cold rolled automotive steel plate – its primary product – in China. Its sales volume of this product for 2013 rose 10.8%, according to the company announcement, but it did not disclose how much it sold during the year.

The steelmaker aims to produce 22.07 million tonnes of steel, and sell 21.79 million tonnes of steel in 2014.

It is eyeing operating revenue of 195 billion yuan ($31.65 billion) this year, and is projecting an operating cost of 176.8 billion yuan ($28.69 billion).