06:20 GMT +323 May 2017
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    RUSSIAN METAL MANUFACTURING 2003 PROFIT TOPS 200 BILLION RUBLES

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    MOSCOW, MARCH 10 (RIA NOVOSTI) - In 2003 Russian metal manufacturing industry's profit exceeded 208 billion rubles (over 7 billion dollars), Sergei Mitin, Russian deputy minister for industry, science and technologies, said on Wednesday at the 2nd International Metals Week.

    The profit increased more than twofold from 2002, he said. But, "the growth of profit in the industry regrettably does not mean that the main problems facing metal manufacturing have been settled," Mr. Mitin said.

    The main problems are the very high wear and tear of equipment, very high power intensity, as well as the permanent growth of tariffs of the natural monopolies. The problem of the slowing growth of investments in metal manufacturing remains, although it is typical of many sectors.

    "The cabinet has taken steps to increase the attraction of metal manufacturing and I hope the new cabinet will continue such work," Mr. Mitin added.

    He cited the development of the domestic market, higher competition, protection of Russian producers among the main goals.

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