Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker Kobe Steel Ltd on Friday cut its recurring profit forecast for the year to end-March 2020 by 67% as the escalating U.S.-China trade war battered steel demand for automobiles and aluminium and copper demand for chips.
* The company’s recurring profit for the year to March 31, 2020, is now predicted at 10 billion yen ($94 million), down from earlier guidance of 30 billion yen
* Weaker steel demand for overseas automobiles, lower sales of aluminium and copper products used in semiconductor and IT-related segments, and system glitches in a U.S. aluminium suspension unit, are also behind slumping profits, said a Kobe Steel executive
* Kobe Steel also expects lower sales of hydraulic excavators, mainly in China, the executive said
* The company said it will skip dividend payments this year due to the deteriorating profits
* Last year, Kobe Steel paid 10 yen per share
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Tom Hogue)