POSCO held an Investor Relations (IR) conference call on July 21 to announce its business performance during the second quarter.
POSCO saw improvement in its performance with 12.8574 trillion won in sales and 678.5 billion won in operating profit on a consolidated basis.
Although the construction and energy sectors showed a slight decrease in sales and operating profit, steel, ICT and other materials exhibited overall improvement, leading to an increase in sales and profit in those sectors by 3.2% and 2.8%, respectively. The operating profit margin amounted to 5.3%, remaining at the same level as the previous quarter.
In particular, the operating profit in the steel sector, which includes the combined profit of overseas steel subsidiaries, increased 33.1% from the previous quarter to make a profit during the second quarter. The overseas steel subsidiaries, which had an overall deficit of 399.1 billion won last year, reduced the deficit to 42.3 billion won in the first quarter and raised 10.6 billion in the second quarter, resulting in an increase of 52.9 billion won from the previous quarter.
Zhangjiagang Pohang Stainless Steel (ZPSS), the manufacturer of STS in China, has realized profit for the second straight quarter thanks to an increase in the prices of raw materials, including nickel. PT. Krakatau POSCO in Indonesia and POSCO SS-VINA in Vietnam have largely reduced their deficit as well.
Recorded profit margin is currently at 11.9%, the highest in four years, thanks to the increased sales ratio of high quality steel (on a parent basis)
In terms of parents, POSCO posted 6.96 trillion won in sales and 712.7 billion won in operating profit, up by 4.2% and 22.4% respectively from the previous quarter. It posted 310.5 billion won in net income during the term, down by 30.4%, due to asset impairment caused by the decrease in the value of their stock holdings and losses on valuation of foreign debt caused by exchange fluctuations.
The operating profit margin for parents amounted to 11.9%, up by 1.8% from the previous quarter, which is the highest since the second quarter of 2012. This was driven by the sales and price increase of World Premium (WP) products. It can also be considered a result of the enhanced competitiveness in basic steelmaking, as the company has actively implemented a marketing solution designed to satisfy the needs of customers from the manufacturing stage to the selling stage.
The sales volume of WP products reached 3.839 million tons, up by 157K tons from the previous quarter. WP products accounted for 45.2% of total product sales, an increase of 0.7% from the previous quarter.
Completed 81 cases of restructuring of assets and subsidiaries since 2014
The company’s overall financial health is steadily improving as well. It recorded 75.9% in debt-to-equity ratio on a consolidated basis, the lowest since 2010, and 19.2% on a parent basis, the lowest since its founding.
Relevant innovation within the business structure, which has been underway since 2014, is being carried out smoothly. The company has completed 45 subsidiary restructuring cases from 2014 up to the first half of this year, which includes the cases completed during the second quarter. An example of such a case is the merger between POSCO AST and POSCO P&S. Eighty-one cases, which include 36 asset restructuring cases, have been completed so far out of a total of 149 cases, with the overall restructuring target to be achieved by 2017. POSCO will restructure 28 domestic and overseas subsidiaries and 13 assets during the second half of this year.