CAIRO, Oct 23 (Reuters) - Ezz Steel, Egypt's biggest steel maker, said on Wednesday that consolidated net profit for the second quarter rose 76 pct year-on-year and that a new plant it was building would increase earnings in coming years.
"The strong domestic housing market coupled with the restart of the construction of the direct reduced iron (DRI) plant in Suez gives us confidence moving forward," Ezz Steel said in an emailed statement.
The economic turmoil that followed Egypt's popular uprising in 2011 hurt demand for cement and steel for the construction of infrastructure and luxury housing, but a lack of enforcement of building regulations has triggered a boom in low-cost housing.
Ezz said in July it was due to bring a DRI factory on line in the second half of 2014 that would shave $50 to $100 off the cost of each tonne of iron it makes.
The company said on Wednesday that net profit for the second quarter of 2013 rose to 250 million Egyptian pounds (US$36.3 million) from 82 million pounds in the first half of 2012.
Net sales increased to 5.56 billion pounds from 5.11 billion, Ezz said.
For the first half of 2013, net profit rose to 302 million pounds from the year-earlier 82 million pounds.
Net sales for the first half rose to 11.14 billion pounds from 10.31 billion in the first half of 2012, the company said.