* Outokumpu benefits from rising stainless steel prices
* Deliveries decreased 8%
* Lifts savings target by 50 million euros
HELSINKI, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Finnish stainless steel maker
Outokumpu said on Thursday it expects profitability
to improve in the last three months of the year after it posted
stronger than expected third-quarter profits, driving its shares
up more than 8%.
The coming months looked promising for Outokumpu thanks to
an exceptional rise in stainless steel prices driven by surging
demand as economies recover from the pandemic, offsetting high
higher energy and raw material costs, Inderes analyst Petri
Gostowski told Reuters.
"Outokumpu is going into annual contract negotiations with
the high prices but the question is at what point the prices
will turn," he said.
Outokumpu sees high demand continuing across all sectors and
aims to offset raw material cost increases with higher prices,
Chief Executive Heikki Malinen told Reuters in an interview.
"We try to operate at full capacity, everything we can get
out of the plants, we take," he said.
Malinen added the 8% drop in third quarter stainless steel
deliveries Outokumpu flagged three weeks ago, compared with the
second quarter, was mainly due to planned maintenance.
The company expects deliveries to remain at a similar level
in the fourth quarter.
Outokumpu increased its savings target to improve the
run-rate in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation (EBITDA) to 250 million euros ($289 million) from
200 million by the end of 2022.
Quarterly adjusted EBITDA rose to 295 million euros from 10
million euros a year earlier, beating the 254.5 million euros
analysts had estimated in a company-provided poll.
($1 = 0.8638 euros)
(Reporting by Essi Lehto
Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Mark Potter)