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Novolipetsk Steel posts $480 net loss for Oct.-Dec. 2008

MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti) - Novolipetsk Steel, one of Russia's four largest steel companies, announced on Tuesday a US GAAP net loss for the final quarter of 2008 of $480 million, due to plummeting metal prices on world markets.

However, due to the strong results of the first three quarters, US GAAP net profit increased 1% year-on-year in 2008 to $2.28 billion.

The company, based in Lipetsk in western Russia, said revenue climbed 53% to $11.7 billion for 2008, gross profit was up 44% to $5.39 billion, operating profit grew 35% to $4.1 billion and EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) rose 36% to $4.54 billion in the reporting period.

"The deterioration in the steel market, which started in the third quarter of 2008, has continued into the first quarter of 2009. We therefore believe that our Q1 2009 revenue will reach $1.1 billion and the EBITDA margin is expected to be around 20%. Crude steel production in Q1 2009 will increase by approximately 21% quarter-on-quarter to 2.1 million metric tons," Novolipetsk Steel said in a statement.

The integrated steel-making company produces pig iron, slabs, hot-rolled, cold-rolled, galvanized, pre-painted, and grain- and non-grain-oriented steel.

Vladimir Lisin, chairman of the company's board of directors, owns 84.6% of Novolipetsk Steel's stock.

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