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Nippon Steel's 71 percent jump in annual profit      [2018-04-27]

Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, Japan's biggest steelmaker, on Thursday posted a 71 percent jump in annual profit, led by healthy demand at home and higher prices of steel products, but it gave no forecast for the year just started.


The solid performance comes despite lingering worries over global trade after the United States put import duties on steel, and follows a data cheating scandal at smaller peer Kobe Steel Ltd, which undermined Japan's reputation for manufacturing excellence.


Japanese steelmakers are enjoying the best market conditions in at least three years. Steel prices have risen on increased production by automakers, while construction is in full swing for Tokyo's 2020 Olympics.


The company's recurring profit for the year to March 31 came to 297.54 billion yen ($2.72 billion), just shy of its own forecast of 300 billion yen and below a mean estimate of 309.95 billion yen. Its overall net profit for the year rose 49 percent.