SEOUL, Jan. 31 (Korea Bizwire) — POSCO, the world’s fifth-biggest steelmaker by output, said Friday its net profit rose 4.8 percent last year helped by increased gains from equity ties with its affiliates and firm demand for its key products.
For the whole of 2019, net profit climbed to 1.98 trillion won (US$1.66 billion) from 1.89 trillion won a year ago, the company said in a statement.
“An increase both in sales of high-end ‘world top premium’ products and equity gains from energy and trading affiliates gave a boost to the bottom line,” a company spokesman said.
In particular, POSCO International, the trading arm of POSCO, reported a 75 percent on-year jump in net profit to 202.4 billion won in 2019 compared to 115.7 billion won a year ago.
POSCO said its full-year operating profit fell 30 percent to 3.87 trillion won last year from the previous year’s 5.54 trillion won. Sales declined 0.9 percent to 64.37 trillion won from 64.98 trillion won during the mentioned period.
The decline in operating income came amid a global economic slowdown, lower demand and trade protectionism of major trading partners, the statement said.
Looking ahead, POSCO said it expects steel product prices in the United States and China to rebound this year as the world’s two biggest economies have recently signed a phase-one trade deal, lifting uncertainties in the markets.
POSCO has set conservative targets for the year of 2020.
The company targets 63.8 trillion won in sales by selling 35 million metric tons of products in global markets. Last year, it sold 36 million tons of products.
But it has sharply increased its capital spending to 6 trillion won this year, doubling from the 3 trillion won it spent last year.