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June 30, 2008

Indonesia's Krakatau Steel returns to profit
Indonesia's state owned steel-maker, PT Krakatau Steel, returned to profit last year on the back of stronger sales revenue, Reuters quoted the company as reporting on Monday.

Krakatau Steel, which is in the middle of a privatisation process, reported a net profit of 313.81 billion rupiah ($34.07 million) in 2007, compared to a 135.40 billion loss a year earlier.

Sales revenue climbed 22.8 percent to 14.84 trillion rupiah, while operating profit  was 793.10 billion rupiah last year, compared to a 216.64 billion loss in 2006.

Krakatau Chairman Taufiequrrahman Ruki told Reuters on Friday the firm, which had total assets of 11.12 trillion rupiah as of last year, was likely to launch an initial public share offering in November or December.

The company is one of 37 Indonesian state firms slated for privatisation this year to help fund a widening budget deficit.

ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steelmaker, and BlueScope Steel Ltd, Australia's largest steelmaker, have shown interest in acquiring a stake in the firm.

The IPO plan still needs to be approved by parliament, but the government has said it is aiming to sell a maximum 40 percent stake in the firm. The firm aims to produce 2.5 million tonnes of steel products this year and to double the figure to 5 million tonnes by the year 2011.

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