January 16, 2008 / 11:31 PM / 11 years ago

China's Laiwu Steel sees 2007 profit up over 50 pct

SHANGHAI, Jan 17 (Reuters) - China’s Laiwu Steel Co. 600102.SS said on Thursday it expects to post at least 50 percent year-on-year growth in its 2007 net profits due in part to higher steel products prices.

The company, whose parent Laiwu Steel Group is China’s ninth-largest steel maker, said the forecast earnings surge was also due to its efforts to enhance product mix and upgrade technology.

The company’s 2006 net profit reached 746 million yuan ($103.2 million), or 0.809 yuan per share.

Chinese steelmakers are facing a challenging 2008 as iron ore prices are expected to rise further and the government is moving to slow down the growth of fixed asset investment, analysts say. ($1=7.231 Yuan)

Reporting by Charlie Zhu; Editing by Valerie Lee

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