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BRASILIA, March 28 (Reuters) - Profit at Cia. Siderúrgica Nacional SA, Brazil's second-largest producer of flat steel products, beat analysts' estimates in the fourth quarter after revenue unexpectedly increased on improved domestic sales.
CSN, as the company is known, posted fourth-quarter net income of 316.1 million reais ($156.8 million), down from 817.1 million reais a year earlier but better than expected, according to a securities filing on Thursday. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings to come in at 165.7 million reais in the quarter.
The company reported record revenue boosted by improved sales in Brazil, it said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.
Net revenue reached a record 16.9 billion reais last year, a 2 percent increase over 2011 revenue thanks to expanded sales of steel products, especially in the domestic market, where sales hit a record 4.5 million tonnes.
Costs rose 28 percent last year, mainly due to higher costs in transporting iron ore, the company said.
Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization - a gauge of operational profit known as EBITDA - rose 14 percent to an adjusted 1.222 billion reais from the third quarter, mainly due to favorable results in mining, the company said.
CSN proposed paying 860 million reais in dividends and interest on capital, the filing said.
Management will host a conference call with investors on Monday to discuss fourth-quarter results.