POSCO recorded 15.101 trillion won (US$13.95 billion) in sales and 731 billion won (US$675.29 million) in operating profits in the first quarter.
Due to the slump in the overseas steel and E&C market, its sales slightly decreased compared to the same period a year ago. However, its operating profits remained the same level of the first quarter last year thanks to the sales extension of high-value-added products, including automotive steel sheets, and the profits from the Myanmar gas project.
The company also saw slight growth of business profit rates with 4.8 percent and the significant growth of net profits to 370 billion won (US$341.8 million) from a year earlier.
Since the sales related to the solution marketing for customers of the major demand industries, including automobiles, shipbuilding, home appliances, and construction, increased 9 percent from the fourth quarter the previous year, and the sales of world premium (WP) products also increased 8 percent during the same period, its profitability improved.
In particular, POSCO won recognition for quality and technology in its automotive steel sheets, and expanded not only its sales in the domestic market but also its exports to automakers in Japan and Europe. Accordingly, it sold 2.071 million tons, a 6 percent increase from the first quarter of the previous year.
In the Myanmar gas field of Daewoo International, it started the full-scale production from December last year, and its operating profits in the field have remained stable.
As the Mong Duong-2 (MD2) coal-fired thermal power plant, in which POSCO Energy has 30 percent of shares, started commercial operations from March, the company can now expect stable profits as well.
POSCO alone recorded 6.788 trillion won (US$6.27 billion) in sales and 622 billion won (US$574.6 million) in operating profits. Regardless of the decrease in selling prices, the sales of high-value-added products increased. Therefore, its profitability improved and the business profit rate increased to 9.2 percent, a 2.2 percent point increase from a year earlier.