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NATIONAL STEEL REPORTS OPERATING PROFIT OF $19.9 MILLION, NET PROFIT OF $4.5 MILLION FOR SECOND QUARTER

 NATIONAL STEEL REPORTS OPERATING PROFIT OF $19.9 MILLION,
 NET PROFIT OF $4.5 MILLION FOR SECOND QUARTER
 PITTSBURGH, July 22 /PRNewswire/ -- National Steel Corp. today reported an operating profit of $19.9 million and a net profit of $4.5 million for the second quarter.
 Both figures represent a substantial improvement over the same 1991 period when the company reported an operating loss of $21.4 million and a net loss of $36.9 million.
 For the first half of 1992, National Steel reported an operating profit of $16.5 million and a net loss of $14.6 million. This compares to an operating loss of $71.3 million and a net loss of $101.3 million in the first half of 1991.
 Net sales for the second quarter and first half of 1992 were $621.3 million and $1.2 billion, which represents an improvement of 8 percent over the $573.5 million and $1.1 billion reported in the same periods last year.
 Steel shipments in the second quarter were 1,300,000 tons, a new quarterly record and 6 percent above the 1,229,000 tons for the same 1991 period. For the half, shipments were 2,511,000 tons, a 7 percent improvement over the 2,339,000 tons shipped last year.
 Raw steel production of 1,382,000 tons in the second quarter and 2,718,000 tons in the first half were 10 percent above the 1,260,000 tons and 2,466,000 tons reported in the same 1991 periods.
 Net profit figures for the quarter and half include an unusual charge of $2.8 million related to a pension window offered by the company as part of a restructuring of its staff and the move of corporate headquarters from Pittsburgh to Mishawaka, Ind.
 Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kokichi Hagiwara thanked employees for their continued efforts to reduce costs, but noted that earnings levels must continue to improve for the corporation to support its aggressive capital program. "A cause for optimism," he said, "is the fact that National Steel has been able to report a profit from operations in three of the last four quarters. Despite an operating loss of $3.4 million in the first quarter, we have shown a profit from operations, excluding unusual charges, of $70.6 million in the past 12-month period."
 Hagiwara said that the company has noted some strengthening of the economy thus far in 1992, "but it has been much slower than we had anticipated."
 The executive added that National Steel began to move toward more normal levels of business with the auto industry, its largest market, in the second quarter and that it has been able to increase its share of another key market, construction, which is also showing a slight upturn.
 "Since these markets account for a major share of our company's shipments of coated products," Hagiwara said, "we experienced some improvement in our product mix in the second quarter. However, this was tempered by softness in another key market, containers."
 Ronald H. Doerr, president and chief operating officer, reported that steel prices continue to be held down by the soft market conditions and, on the average, are little different than they were 10 years ago.
 With prices flat, a major factor in National Steel's return to profitability in the second quarter was its continuing program of cost reductions, the executive said. He noted that the company's selling, general and administrative expenses during the quarter and the first half were reduced by $1.9 million and $4.0 million, respectively, from the same 1991 periods.
 Doerr said that design work has begun for the hot dip galvanizing line to be built as a joint venture with Bethlehem Steel Corp. (NYSE: BS). The new company, which was announced in May, will be called Double G Coatings Inc. and will be located in Jackson, Miss. The new facility will produce 270,000 tons of galvanized and Galvalume(R) sheet annually for the growing construction market in the south-central United States.
 Two other major capital projects are nearing completion, he added. An 85-oven coke battery rebuild and by-products facility serving the company's Great Lakes Division will begin operation late this year, and another joint venture galvanizing line, DNN Galvanizing Corp., in Windsor, Ontario, will start up in early 1993. National Steel and Dofasco Inc. of Canada will each market about 50 percent of the line's capacity. Principal customers will be North American automotive companies.
 Also nearing completion, Doerr said, is construction of National Steel's new headquarters building in Mishawaka. Occupancy of the building will coincide with a consolidation of the company's corporate and divisional administrative staffs. Employees will begin moving into the building in late August and early September.
 The executive expressed concern about unfair trading practices by some overseas producers that have damaged the American steel industry in recent years and threaten to impede its recovery from the recession now that the government's VRA program has expired.
 "We're very hopeful that the trade suits filed by the steel industry early this month will be resolved favorably so that we can meet our overseas competitors on a level playing field," he said. The suits, filed against steel companies in 21 foreign nations, allege widespread subsidization of exports to the United States, as well as the dumping of steel at prices far below market value and often below production costs.
 Looking ahead, Doerr said that National Steel anticipates a gradual improvement in economic conditions during the remainder of the year. "Anticipated stronger demand for steel, combined with continued efforts to control our costs, should allow us to improve our performance somewhat in the second half of the year," he concluded.
 National Steel Corp. is the nation's fourth-largest steel company, with production facilities in Ecorse, Mich., near Detroit; Portage, Ind., near Chicago; and Granite City, Ill., near St. Louis. The company is presently headquartered in Pittsburgh and employs about 10,800 people.
 The corporation's consolidated income summary follows.
 NATIONAL STEEL CORP.
 Statements of Consolidated Income
 (Unaudited; in millions of dollars)
 Period Ended Three Months Six Months
 June 30 1992 1991 1992 1991
 Net sales $621.3 $573.5 $1,185.4 $1,098.1
 Cost of products sold 540.8 534.1 1,047.4 1,046.8
 Selling, gen. & adm. 33.3 35.2 66.4 70.4
 Depreciation, depletion
 & amortization 28.1 27.6 55.8 55.2
 Equity (income) (3.6) (2.0) (3.5) (3.0)
 Unusual items 2.8 -- 2.8 --
 Income (loss) from opers. 19.9 (21.4) 16.5 (71.3)
 Financing costs 15.4 15.2 31.0 29.4
 Inc. (loss) bef. inc. taxes 4.5 (36.6) (14.5) (100.7)
 Income tax provision -- .3 .1 0.6
 Net income (loss) 4.5 (36.9) (14.6) (101.3)
 -0- 7/22/92
 /CONTACT: Robert R. Toothman of National Steel, 412-394-4358/
 (BS) CO: National Steel Corp.; Bethlehem Steel Corp. ST: Pennsylvania, Indiana IN: MNG SU: ERN


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