South Korea's leading steelmaker POSCO said on Tuesday its first-quarter net profit more than quadrupled from a year earlier thanks to rising demand and higher steel prices.
Net profit was 1.44 trillion won (1.3 billion dollars) in January-March compared with 325 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
Sales were worth 6.95 trillion won in the first quarter, up from 6.47 trillion won a year earlier, and operating income rose to 1.45 trillion won from 373 billion won.
A weaker won and high raw material costs had increased production costs last year, hitting operating profit.
POSCO, the world's fourth-largest steelmaker, raised its 2010 sales target by eight per cent to 31.9 trillion won and its crude steel output forecast by 100,000 tons to 34.5 million tons.
It said it expects the global steel industry to continue its recovery this year.