Half year result, SEK 1,266 million Today, SSAB presented its half year report. The profit after financial items improved by 17% to SEK 1,266 (1,078) million. -Steel consumption in both Western Europe and in the United States appears to have now levelled out at a high level, says President Torsten Sandin in a comment on the half year report. This is the same tendency as we see in Sweden where demand remains at the level we reached during the second half of last year. -Lower steel consumption in Asia has resulted, among other things, in reduced net exports of steel from Western Europe and has thereby increased the supply on the steel market. We have felt this through the increased pressure on prices, says Torsten Sandin. -Several of our large investment projects are now in their final stage. During the second quarter, we commenced the running in of the four-high rolling mill in Oxelösund. At the end of August/beginning of September, we expect to start production at SSAB HardTech's new facility in the US and to get production underway in our new rougher in Borlänge at the end of this quarter. -Obviously, the work on the investment projects involves a lot of effort by the entire organisation. Getting the four-high rolling mill under way has taken a little longer than planned, and we have had some minor disruptions in our sheet operations. Consequently, we have had to reduce deliveries during the second quarter, which explains why the second quarter was somewhat weaker than the first, says Torsten Sandin in conclusion.