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ThyssenKrupp Resumes Dividend on First Profit in 4 Years

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ThyssenKrupp AG (TKA), Germany’s largest steelmaker, reported the first annual profit in four years after selling a U.S. plant that was part of the 203-year-old company’s worst investment.

Net income was 210 million euros ($263 million) in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, compared with a loss of 1.44 billion euros a year earlier, the Essen, Germany-based company said today in a statement.

ThyssenKrupp is expanding its elevator, industrial and components units amid weak steel prices. It announced plans last year to sell shares and a U.S. plant in its Steel Americas unit after having lost almost 14 billion euros in market value since 2008. It failed to find a buyer for its 73 percent stake in a Brazilian plant.

“We are making progress with our transformation into an efficient and profitable diversified industrial group,” Chief Executive Officer Heinrich Hiesinger, whose contract was extended until 2020 yesterday, said in the statement. “The sum of the group’s parts generates more value than the individual businesses could ever do alone.”

The company’s management and supervisory boards proposed a dividend payment of 11 euro cents a share after no payment in the previous two fiscal years.

ThyssenKrupp forecast earnings before interest and taxes, excluding one-time items, will increase to “at least” 1.5 billion euros in the current fiscal year, and the company is seeking to reach “at least” 2 billion euros in the longer term.

Ebit for continuing operations more than doubled to 1.33 billion euros from a year earlier. That beat the 1.24 billion-euro average of 20 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Steel Americas was the only division to report an adjusted loss before interest and taxes, of 60 million euros, narrowing from a 495 million-euro loss a year earlier. It will “at least make a clear improvement towards break-even Ebit” this year, the company said.

(Sorce: Bloomberg)