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Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. (NYSE: RS), Los Angeles, CA, reported sales for 2010 were $6.31 billion, up 19 percent from 2009 sales of $5.32 billion. Profit for the North American metals service center, increased 31 percent to $194.4 million.
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For the fourth quarter, sales were $1.58 billion, up 24 percent over sales in fourth quarter 2009. Profit was $39.5 million, compared to year-ago profit of $92.1 million. The 2010 fourth quarter financial results include in cost of sales a pre-tax LIFO charge, or expense, of $10 million, compared with a pre-tax LIFO credit, or income, of $87.5 million in the 2009 fourth quarter.
Tons sold for the 2010 year were up 6 percent and the average price per ton sold was up 12 percent compared to 2009. For the 2010 year, carbon steel sales were 52 percent of revenues; aluminum sales were 18 percent; stainless steel sales were 16 percent; alloy sales were 8 percent; toll processing sales were 2 percent and other sales were 4 percent.
"Our guidance for the 2010 fourth quarter did not anticipate the carbon steel price increases that were announced by the carbon steel producers consistently throughout December," CEO David H. Hannah said.
"Demand during the quarter was seasonably lower than the 2010 third quarter, but not by as much as we expected, as some customers purchased a little more during December to get ahead of further price increases. As a result, we sold a little more steel at generally higher prices and margins that resulted in the quarter finishing up better than we originally expected."
The strongest markets in 2010 were energy, oil and gas; semiconductor and electronics; aerospace; agriculture; and the toll processing business related to the auto and appliance industries. Non-residential construction continued to be difficult.
"Our strongest markets during 2010 were in energy, oil and gas; semiconductor and electronics; aerospace; agriculture and our toll processing business which is primarily related to the auto and appliance industries. Non-residential construction was our most difficult area last year," commented Hannah.