SSAB today presents its results for the first quarter 2005. Profit after financial items increased by SEK 1,110 million to SEK 1,792 (682) million. - In terms of earnings, this is our best quarter ever. During the past year, we have been able to take advantage of a strong steel market by gradually increasing prices for both sheet and plate products. During the first quarter of this year, we increased prices by an additional 14%, resulting in stronger margins despite steep increases in iron ore prices, notes CEO Anders Ullberg in a comment on the report. - During the first quarter, demand has remained strong for our core niche products, quenched steels and extreme high-strength sheet, while demand for galvanised sheet, among other products, has weakened compared with the second half of 2004, continues Anders Ullberg. - In 2005, we are continuing to concentrate on our focus areas, namely increasing volumes of core niche products, keeping processing costs in check, and thereby creating a strong cash flow, emphasises Anders Ullberg. In conclusion, Anders Ullberg notes that global demand for steel is continuing to grow, albeit at a lower rate than in 2004. It is expected that the Group's steel prices in the second quarter will be approximately unchanged in local currencies.