Evraz Profit Rises 56% on Higher Steel Prices

Evraz Group, the country's second-largest steelmaker, said Wednesday that profit jumped 56 percent last year on higher prices as it continued to expand globally.

Net income climbed to $2.14 billion from $1.38 billion in 2006, Luxembourg-registered Evraz said in a statement. That missed the $2.3 billion median of 11 analyst estimates.

Prices for construction products in 2007 were 45 percent higher on average, while semifinished products rose 24 percent, Evraz said Jan. 15. The steelmaker, part owned by billionaire Roman Abramovich, also compensated for an 8.2 percent drop in Russian output, because of maintenance at its west Siberian blast furnace, by expanding operations outside the country.

Evraz depositary receipts rose $1.70, or 2 percent, to $88 in London trading on Tuesday, valuing the company at $31.2 billion. They have gained 14 percent this year.

Portland-based Oregon Steel Mills, which Evraz bought for $2.3 billion last year, and South Africa's Highveld Steel & Vanadium, contributed 1.4 million tons of crude steel to the group's production. The company's overall steel output held at 16.3 million tons.

Evraz spent $3.7 billion last year expanding outside Russia.