Weak profits for Korea’s POSCO

POSCO, the world’s number three steelmaker, posted a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit and warned it was struggling to pass on rising costs as floods in Australia disrupt raw material supplies. South Korea’s POSCO is already a laggard among Asian steelmakers in terms of price increases, share price performance and profitability, and higher costs will deal it another blow as it relies heavily on imports for raw materials like iron ore and coal. The company, which counts billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Japan’s Nippon Steel as major shareholders, said its contract prices of both iron ore and hard coking coal for the first quarter rose 8 per cent from the previous quarter.