Steelmaker JFE cuts 2012/13 profit outlook in half

TOKYO Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:08am EDT

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TOKYO Oct 24 (Reuters) - JFE Holdings Inc, Japan's No.2 steelmaker, slashed its full-year profit forecast i n half on Wednesday, amid worries that a delay in the Asian market recovery and the end of government incentives for eco-friendly cars will sap demand and prices.

JFE, the world's ninth-biggest producer of crude steel by volume, e xpects 45 billion yen ($564.05 million) i n recurring profit, which is pretax and before one-off items, for the year to March 2013, sharply below the 90 billion yen it forecast three months ago.

The new figure is below a consensus estimate of 59.99 billion yen in a poll of 17 analysts in Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and compares with profit of 52.98 billion yen a year ago.

Its recurring profit for the April-September first-half was 4 .1 b illion yen, down 92 p ercent f rom a year ago, and j ust under it s e stimate of 5 billion yen. ($1 = 79.7800 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Daniel Magnowski and Ken Wills)