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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 November 2005, 16:49 GMT
Corus shares weather profits dip
Corus worker checking aluminium
Corus provides steel products for carmakers and construction firms
Shares in Corus have risen more than 6% after the steel giant's performance pleased the market, despite a drop in third-quarter profits.

Pre-tax pre-exceptional profits dropped to 176m ($305.5m), down from 305m in the same quarter a year ago.

However, the steelmaker said prices were starting to recover and unveiled an expansion of its Dutch operations.

Steel prices jumped last year on the back of the Chinese economic boom but fell back earlier this year.

Steelmakers across Europe responded by cutting production to protect prices and margins.

Lower output and fewer imports had gradually restored the balance between supply and demand, Corus reported.

Dutch expansion

Since 2003, the company has cut hundreds of jobs and made significant changes to working practices.

Corus has delivered a robust financial performance in the third quarter
Philippe Varin, chief executive

It has also invested 130m at one of the company's biggest plants at Scunthorpe. Its other UK sites include Rotherham and Port Talbot.

The company said it planned to invest 152m at its Ijmuiden plant in the Netherlands to beef up production in automobile and construction markets from 2008.

"Corus has delivered a robust financial performance in the third quarter," said chief executive Philippe Varin.

Shares in the company were up 3.5 pence, or 6.7%, to 55.75p on Wednesday.

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