Posco Profit Slumps 75% on Currency Losses, Tax Probe Results

Posco (005490), South Korea’s biggest steelmaker, reported a 75 percent plunge in first-quarter profit because of foreign-currency losses and results of a tax investigation.

Net income dropped to 69.8 billion won ($67 million) in the three months ended March 31 from 278 billion won a year earlier, according to a regulatory filing today. Profit fell short of the 399.2 billion won estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Sales fell 6 percent to 15.4 trillion won.

The company cut its consolidated spending target for this year to as little as 5.7 trillion won, compared with 6.5 trillion won estimated in January. Posco’s new Chief Executive Officer Kwon Oh Joon said in March the company won’t seek new investment for expansion “for a while” as it will focus spending on downstream to increase value.

The stock ended little changed at 299,000 won in Seoul, while the local benchmark Kospi index fell 0.1 percent. The announcement came after the stock market closed.

To contact the reporter on this story: Indranil Ghosh in New Delhi at ighosh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net Rebecca Keenan

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