Brazil infrastructure push to boost steel demand -Gerdau CEO


SAO PAULO, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Demand for steel products inBrazil will rise next year thanks to a series of infrastructureprojects, including the sale of rights to operate airports,roads and railways, André Gerdau-Johannpeter, chief executiveofficer of Gerdau SA, the nation's largeststeelmaker, said on Thursday.

The company is optimistic about the outlook for the steelindustry in North America for next year, Gerdau-Johannpeter toldreporters at a conference call to discuss third-quarterearnings.

Gerdau, the largest steelmaker in the Americas, beatthird-quarter profit estimates after rising sales volumes andcost controls in Brazil offset the impact of declining marginsin North America, Europe and India. Net income jumped to 642million reais ($293 million) in the quarter, up 60 percent fromthe prior three months, beating expected average profit of 546.5million reais in a Thomson Reuters poll of six analysts.

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