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POSCO International achieves solid first quarter results for fiscal year 2024 despite global economic downturn

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  • On the 25th, announced 1Q revenue of 7.8 trillion won and operating profit of 265 billion won
  • Stable profit structure of the energy business value chain and increased sales to the eco-friendly industry customers contributed to profit growth
  • Secured a stable cash flow foundation to support future investment and improve shareholder returns

SEOUL and INCHEON, South Korea, April 25, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Despite the ongoing global economic slowdown due to high interest rate and increased volatility in energy prices, POSCO International’s performance remains solid throughout the first quarter of 2024.

POSCO International (CEO Lee Kye-In) announced through disclosure that its first quarter sales were 7.8 trillion won with operating profit of 265 billion won. The company demonstrated stable profit generation and capability of sustainable growth with a 23.6% increase in operating profit compared to the previous quarter. This performance exceeded the operating profit consensus of 245 billion won by 8%.

Despite the front industry slump, the company’s performance in the first quarter remained robust. This can be attributed to the company’s stable profit structure created by the LNG (liquefied natural gas) value chain and the steady performance in the eco-friendly materials business. These factors are the key drivers behind the performance.

Firstly, in the energy sector, the upstream global gas exploration business continued to generate steady sales of natural gas, resulting in an operating profit of approximately 64 billion won, similar to the previous quarter. In the midstream sector, the LNG terminal achieved sales of 27 billion won by increasing the intake volume at low LNG prices through capacity expansion and operational optimization. This represented in an increase of over 26.3% in sales compared to the same period last year.

For the downstream LNG power generation, the company achieved an operating profit of 60 billion won, a 11.5% increase compared to the same period last year, by securing competitive fuel import prices.

POSCO International plans to invest 3.6 trillion won by 2026 to enhance the LNG value chain, which includes production increase of existing gas fields, exploring new reserves, and doubling the capacity of LNG terminals.

Regardless of the downturn in the global steel industry, the eco-friendly materials business’s performance stood out. In particular, strong sales of API steel* exports to the United States and high-strength steel plates for EVs contributed to a 24.8% increase in operating profit compared to the previous quarter, reaching 79 billion won.

* Steel products used in the manufacturing of oil and gas pipelines.

In addition, even with the slowdown of the EV industry, motor core sales for domestic markets increased by 6.3% compared to the same period last year, while overseas sales increased by 22%. From the first half of this year, Mexico plant number 1 has started production and the groundbreaking ceremonies for Mexico plant number 2 is scheduled in May and Poland plant is expected in June of 2024. Expansion of overseas production share and an increase in production volume is expected to lead profitability improvement in the future. 

Permanent magnets orders received at the beginning of this year through North American and European overseas subsidiaries are planned to be produced by using rare earth materials sourced from the United States, Australia, Vietnam, etc. This initiative aims to establish a supply chain for rare earth sourced outside of China. Furthermore, the company is expanding the value chain to strengthen its position as a key supplier of core components for eco-friendly vehicles.

Meanwhile, POSCO International is also making efforts to improve its financial stability. Net debt for the first quarter is 5.9 trillion won and debt to equity ratio is 73.1%. With debt repayment, net debt was reduced by 549 billion won, which is an 8.5% decrease compared to the same period last year. Also, EBITDA recorded 400 billion won securing cash for future investments and shareholder returns.

A POSCO International official stated "In January, we announced our shareholder-friendly policy and starting this year we will be thoroughly considering interim dividends. If approved, as of June 30th, in accordance with the articles of incorporation, shareholders will be eligible for interim dividends. We are committed to enhancing shareholder value based on steady profit."

For more information, please visit https://www.poscointl.com/.

Source : POSCO International achieves solid first quarter results for fiscal year 2024 despite global economic downturn

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