Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Nippon Steel & S'tomo To Close Kimitsu Furnace
TOKYO (NQN)--Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. (5401) said Wednesday it will close a blast furnace at its major steelworks in Kimitsu, Chiba Prefecture, at the end of fiscal 2015. The company aims to improve its global competitiveness by cutting fixed costs.
According to the company's business plan for the three years through fiscal 2015, the steelmaker will also postpone opening a new furnace at its mill in Wakayama Prefecture for the time being.
Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal intends to raise productivity by increasing its use of other furnaces. The company aims to lower costs by at least 200 billion yen a year over the three-year period, while reducing the value of its asset holdings to about 300 billion yen. The company began selling its assets in the second half of fiscal 2012.
The firm will spend 100 billion yen a year on strategic investments. Although Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal did not reveal specific targets for sales and operating profit, it said it will try to stably achieve a pretax profit-to-sales ratio of 5% in the near term, with an eye toward eventually raising the ratio to about 10%.