Steel giant Arcelor-Mittal on Wednesday reported a sharp 34 percent surge in first half net earnings, attributed to rising steel demand, but warned of a slowdown in activity in the third quarter.
Arcelor-Mittal, created a year ago in the merger of European steel group Arcelor and Mittal Steel, said net profit in the January-June period came to 3.742 billion euros (5.1 billion dollars) compared to 2.781 billion euros in the same period of 2006.
Operating earnings advanced 38 percent from first half 2006 to 5.784 billion euros.
Underlying earnings, operating earnings plus depreciation, 31.5 percent to 7.277 billion euros.
In the second quarter alone, net profit jumped 39.8 percent to 2.020 billion euros, while underlying earnings were up 42 percent at 3.951 billion euros, eclipsing company expectations.