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Ezz Steel to post narrower Q3 loss

Cairo, November 26, 2010

Egypt's Ezz Steel is expected to post a third-quarter net loss as margins were hit by rising raw material prices, offsetting much of a rise in sales, a Reuters poll of analysts shows.

Six analysts on average forecast Egypt's largest steelmaker would report a net loss at 20.3 million Egyptian pounds ($3.5 million), with estimates ranging from a net loss of 60 million to a net profit of 7 million pounds.

Ezz Steel suffered soaring raw material costs after top global producers Vale and BHP Billiton changed their pricing models.

'Steel prices did not rise to levels that offset surges in raw material prices,' said Ahmed Shams El Din, analyst with EFG-Hermes.

However, a recovery in sales after a slump in 2009 means the loss is narrower than the 67.6 million pounds it lost in the same quarter a year ago.

The Reuters poll expected revenues for the quarter to rise 48.6 per cent year-on-year to 4 billion pounds.-Reuters




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