Egypt's Ezz Steel says 2nd-qtr net profit rose 76 pct


CAIRO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Ezz Steel, Egypt'sbiggest steel maker, said on Wednesday that consolidated netprofit for the second quarter rose 76 pct year-on-year and thata new plant it was building would increase earnings in comingyears.

"The strong domestic housing market coupled with the restartof the construction of the direct reduced iron (DRI) plant inSuez gives us confidence moving forward," Ezz Steel said in anemailed statement.

The economic turmoil that followed Egypt's popular uprisingin 2011 hurt demand for cement and steel for the construction ofinfrastructure and luxury housing, but a lack of enforcement ofbuilding regulations has triggered a boom in low-cost housing.

Ezz said in July it was due to bring a DRI factory on linein the second half of 2014 that would shave $50 to $100 off thecost of each tonne of iron it makes.

The company said on Wednesday that net profit for the secondquarter of 2013 rose to 250 million Egyptian pounds (US$36.3million) from 82 million pounds in the first half of 2012.

Net sales increased to 5.56 billion pounds from 5.11billion, Ezz said.

For the first half of 2013, net profit rose to 302 millionpounds from the year-earlier 82 million pounds.

Net sales for the first half rose to 11.14 billion poundsfrom 10.31 billion in the first half of 2012, the company said.

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