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Kobe Steel Quarterly Profit Doubles on Asian Demand

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Feb. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Kobe Steel Ltd., Japan’s fourth-largest steelmaker, said third-quarter profit more than doubled on rising Asian demand.

Net income surged to 17.7 billion yen ($217 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 from 7.4 billion yen a year earlier, the Kobe-based company said today in a statement. Sales rose 4 percent to 433.7 billion yen.

Japanese mills are expanding sales outside their home market, spurred by demand in China and Southeast Asia. Steel exports by the world’s second-largest producing nation climbed 26 percent to 43.4 million metric tons last year, surpassing a 2008 record, the Japan Iron and Steel Federation said yesterday.

The company reiterated today net income may rise sevenfold to 45 billion yen for the year ending March 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Masumi Suga in Tokyo at msuga@bloomberg.net

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

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