Nippon Steel reports first half profit

Japan steelmaker Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp, the world's second-biggest steelmaker, has reported a profit in its fiscal first half on the back of increasing demand for steel products on the government's economic stimulus measures, known as "Abenomics."

The company, created through the merger of Nippon Steel and Sumitomo Metal last year, said net profit was 115.58 billion yen for the six months to September, reversing a 176.66 billion yen net loss a year ago.

Sales rose 39.4 percent to 2.67 trillion yen, it said.

"Domestic steel demand was supported by sustained strong demand for civil engineering and construction projects underpinned by ongoing reconstruction demand and the effects of economic policies," the company said.

It warned however that it faced headwinds as heavy production by Chinese mills was pushing down global steel prices.

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