SSAB's profit falls by 25% SSAB today presented its results for 1998. Profit after financial items declined by 25% to SEK 1,424 (1,906) million. -These figures conceal a strong first half of the year and a weak second half, says President Torsten Sandin in a comment on the results. Our prices fell gradually during the autumn and in the last quarter we had a clearly lower inflow of orders in the steel operation than earlier in the year. -We were, therefore, obliged to reduce the pace of production in both our blast furnaces and in our sheet manufacturing. In December, the inflow of orders increased back to normal levels and thus, since the beginning of the year, we have been able to operate our plants as normal, adds Torsten Sandin. -Last year involved great efforts by our entire organisation when we were starting up, among other things, the new four-high rolling mill in Oxelösund, the rougher in Borlänge, and SSAB HardTech's new plant in the United States. The start up in Oxelösund took longer than planned, but we have now established a stable production at a higher level than in our old four-high rolling mill. In Borlänge, start up has proceeded very well and we are now carrying out production in the new rougher. At SSAB HardTech's plant in the United States, we have been producing on both production lines since November. -This means that we have now seen through the extensive investment programme in the steel operation and in SSAB HardTech. These investments, totalling SEK 3500 million, enable us to continue to expand in our niche areas - high- strength sheet and quenched steels within the plate operation, says Torsten Sandin in conclusion. ------------------------------------------------------------ Please visit for further information The following files are available for download: