Steel producer Severstal sees quarterly profit jump

Image caption,
Severstal has not paid dividends since 2008

Severstal, Russia's largest steel producer, has reported a jump in profit, beating market expectations.

Severstal made a net profit of $388m (£242m) between July and September, up from $37m in the same period in 2009.

Last week, its board recommended resuming dividend payments for the first time in two years.

Despite the rise in profits, Severstal's shares fell in both London and Moscow, as its US arm posted a loss.

The loss resulted from a "challenging US steel market and rising raw materials costs".

Severstal has said that restructuring its loss-making US assets was "the highest priority" for the company.

The Russian steel producer returned to profit in the April-June period, and after two profitable quarters its board recommended paying a dividend of 4.29 roubles ($0.14) per share.

Shareholders will vote on the dividend proposal on 20 December.

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