Seoul: South Korea’s Posco, the world’s No.4 steelmaker, warned on Thursday of lower 2009 steel output and sales due to slumping demand as it reported sharply lower-than-expected and barely changed quarterly profit.
October-December net profit at Posco, which ranks behind ArcelorMittal, Nippon Steel and JFE, edged up 1% to $527.3 million from a year ago but fell 41% from July-September quarter.
The final quarter result was sharply below a forecast for 1.15 trillion won from 10 analysts polled by Reuters Estimates.
Weaker demand for everything from autos to home appliances due to a deepening global economic recession will crimp earnings at steel majors this year, in a sharp reversal from the sector’s record profits logged last year.
Shares in Posco, South Korea’s second-largest listed company, dropped 14% in the fourth quarter, outperforming a 22% drop in the broader market.