Mittal Steel''s 4Q net up, full year profits decline

"We are pleased to report solid performance in a more challenging year. 2005 was also a year of considerable strategic progress for the company as we further expanded our global position," said," said Lakshmi N. Mittal, chairman and CEO, Mittal Steel, while unveiling his company''s fourth-quarter and annual results today.

Mittal Steel has reported that its net income in the fourth quarter rose 36 per cent compared with the previous quarter, and higher than expected, but a 28.4 per cent decline for the full year.

The company said the full-year figure was not directly comparable with the previous year because of its acquisitions and reorganisations during the year.

Its fourth quarter, net income was $650 million compared with $1.55 billion in fourth quarter 2004. However, the fourth quarter net was up 36 per cent compared with the third quarter of 2005, higher than the 20 per cent forecast by analysts

For the full year, Mittal Steel reported a net income of $3.365 billion in 2005, compared with $4.7 billion in 2004.

The company has forecast an increase in its 1Q 2006 operating income as its steel shipments are expected to grow 10 per cent with the inclusion of Mittal Steel Kryviy Rih, the Ukrainian steel mill it purchased last October.

Since being formed in December 2004 from the merger of its Ispat International and LNM Holdings, the private Mittal family vehicle, the Rotterdam-headquartered Mittal Steel Co has set a scorching pace of growth through large-scale acquisitions, including US-based Wilbur Ross'' holdings in International Steel Group in the United States in April 2005 and the Ukrainian state company Kryvorizhstal in November.