Rising local demand and exports to sustain NSSMC’s profit growth

The continuing rise in domestic demand, coupled with strong exports, is expected to sustain growth at Japan’s Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp (NSSMC) through the rest of the 2013 fiscal year.

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Local steel demand is projected to continue to rise in Japan in both the construction and manufacturing industries, with stronger performances by the automobile and industrial machinery segments also anticipated, the steelmaker said on Thursday January 30.

And although Chinese steelmakers have “persistently maintained a high level of production”, Japan’s steel exports are expected to remain strong on the back of the yen’s devaluation, NSSMC said.

Driven by the positive outlook, the company is targeting consolidated net sales of ¥5.45 trillion ($53 billion) for the full fiscal year ending on March 31, which compares with ¥5.08 trillion ($49.4 billion) in the previous year.

Net income is expected to be ¥20 billion ($194 million) higher than the previous estimate, at ¥220.0 billion ($2.14 billion), NSSMC said on Thursday.

The revised figure includes the sale of investments in securities, the company said.

“Japan’s self-sustaining recovery is gaining momentum, on the back of a recovery in capital investment and consumer spending, stemming from a surge in demand ahead of the scheduled hike in the consumption tax rate,” NSSMC said.

The tax, currently set at 5%, will be increased to 8% in April 2014.

NSSMC is also expecting steel shipments to rise by 1.13% for the fiscal year, to 42.1 million tonnes, while its average selling price should increase by 4.9% to ¥85,000 ($826) per tonne.

Its consolidated crude steel production is targeted at 48.3 million tonnes for the full year, which will be a year-on-year increase of 2.27%.

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