Ryerson Inc., Chicago, IL, reported sales of $5.9 billion for 2006, up 2.2% from 2005. Profit was $71.8 million, compared with $98.1 million in 2005.
In the fourth quarter, Ryerson recorded a net loss of $4.4 million, compared with a profit of $6.3 million in 2005. Sales in the fourth quarter were $1.4 billion.
Fourth quarter 2006 volume, as anticipated, reflected the typical year-end slowdown, exacerbated by high inventories in a variety of products throughout the supply chain,” said CEO Neil S. Novich. “Additionally, this excess industry-wide inventory, coupled with an extraordinary run up in stainless steel prices, due to nickel surcharges (up an average of about $700 per ton from the third quarter to the fourth), exerted margin pressure in the quarter.”