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Japan Steelmakers Cut Profit Forecasts
Jan 2, 2009
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Japan's Nippon Steel Corp. and JFE Holdings Inc. will likely cut their operating profit forecasts for this business year as demand from automakers and other customers plunges, according to a Nikkei business daily.

Both companies now face a decline of about 12% in group operating profit in the year to March compared to a year earlier, according to estimates in the Nikkei report.

Nippon Steel, the world's second-biggest steelmaker, will likely lower its estimate to about 480 billion yen (approx. US$5.3 billion), down from its previous forecast in October of 540 billion yen, the report said.

Meanwhile, JFE Holdings will likely cut its forecast to 450 billion yen from the previously estimated 490 billion yen, the report said.

Recently, world number-three steelmaker JFE Steel Co, a core steel unit of JFE Holdings, stepped up planned output cuts in the face of plunging demand and became the first Japanese player to shut a blast furnace.

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