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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 August 2005, 07:34 GMT 08:34 UK
Corus profits shine after revamp
Corus worker checking aluminium
Carmakers provide Corus with many orders
A restructuring drive at Corus has helped the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker more than double its profits.

Pre-tax profits at the firm surged to 435m ($785m) for the first six months of the year, compared to 156m at the same time last year.

At least 35% of the improvement was a result of its "restoring success" shake-up, Corus said.

But looking ahead, Corus warned lower prices and high stock levels would only improve gradually as the year went on.

Steelmakers are being gradually squeezed by rising iron ore and coal prices which are eating into their margins.

Price fall offset

"The third quarter will be impacted by lower selling prices, the full effect of raw material cost increases and reduced steel making to align production with demand," Corus said in a statement.

The company revealed that deliveries had fallen by 8% during the first half of the year.

However, a rise in steel prices had helped offset the fall in deliveries, pushing turnover 19% higher to 5.33bn.

The surge in profits underlines a turnaround at the company which restructured its operations in the UK in recent years, reducing its workforce and boosting its productivity.

The company only managed to move back into the black a year ago.

But its renaissance has come at a price: more than 13,000 jobs have been axed across its operations - which include plants in Port Talbot, Scunthorpe and Rotherham - since 1999.

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