Continuing strong demand for steel helped the Germany industrial group ThyssenKrupp boost its net annual profit by 57% to 884 million euros.
Sales were up over 11%. In addition the company reduced its debt to 2.8 billion euros, compared with 4.2 billion a year earlier. ThyssenKrupp was formed by a merger five years ago. As well as producing steel, it makes everything from lifts to vehicle chassis to luxury yachts. The results are the best since that merger, but the group is forecasting earnings will be flat in 2004/2005. There is concern in the industry that China’s soaring economy may peak next year. In a statement the company said even if demand levels off somewhat in China, it assumes that steel and raw material prices will remain high. Analysts said one thing that is in ThyssenKrupp’s favour is that the majority of its supply contracts are long term , which protects it from falls in prices and makes it easier for investors to predict the group’s earnings.