* Q2 comparable op profit 17 mln euros vs 25 mln in poll
* Steelmaking unit's op profit 8 mln euros vs 22 mln in poll
* Shares up more than 6 pct
(Recasts with outlook and share reaction; adds analyst comment)
HELSINKI, Aug 8 Rautaruukki stood by
its full-year profit forecast, cheering investors who expected
the Finnish steelmaker to succumb like rivals to persistent
Shares in Rautaruukki rose 5.8 percent to 5.21 euros by 1250
GMT as wary analysts priced in an expected improvement in
operating profit next year.
"The shares are not solely priced based on estimates for
this year, but investors are starting to think about next year,"
said FIM analyst Markus Liimatainen.
Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said on Wednesday
steel demand was finally stabilising, showing resilience to the
downturn that has afflicted the $500 billion industry.
But German producer Salzgitter slashed its
full-year outlook on Monday and the world's biggest manufacturer
ArcelorMittal also cut its outlook last week.
Rautaruukki on Thursday reported a second-quarter comparable
operating profit of 17 million euros ($23 million), much less
than the market's average forecast of 25.3 million euros.
But it said it still expected full-year profit to improve,
helped by cost cuts, while net sales would likely be flat
compared with 2012.
Rautaruukki last year launched a 100 million euros programme
of job cuts and also spun off part of its engineering business
in response to weak steel demand and prices, especially in
Those efforts have helped it eke out an operating profit for
the past two quarters despite a fall in sales.
The company's steelmaking unit still struggled in the second
quarter. Operating profit fell to 8 million euros from 13
million, hurt by technical problems.
Chief Executive Sakari Tamminen said customers were still
highly cautious, holding off from purchases until the last
($1 = 0.7508 euros)
(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen; Editing by David Cowell)