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    Steel company earnings fall 5.7% in 2006

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    MOSCOW, August 16 (RIA Novosti) - Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works (MMK) [RTS: MAGN] said Wednesday its earnings, calculated to Russian Accounting Standards, fell 5.7% year-on-year in the first half of 2006, to 72.03 billion rubles (about $2.6 billion).

    Russia's largest steelmaker said its earnings had declined due to a slump in the metals sector.

    MMK, which produced 11.4 million metric tons of steel in 2005, exports 50% of its output to 75 countries. It said its gross profit had decreased 9.5% in the reporting period, to 20.92 billion rubles (about $775 million), and that net profit had declined 10.8%, to 15.53 billion rubles (about $575 million).

    The company, which has a charter capital of 10.63 billion rubles (about $393 million), added that its output expanded 9.4% in the first half of 2006, compared with the same period in 2005.

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