Nine-month profit falls 28% to £269m after significant rises in raw material and energy costs

Higher costs and lower average selling prices has resulted in a 28% fall in profit at Corus. Pre-tax profit at the steel maker was £269m for the nine months to 30 September compared to £372m for the same period last year. Corus blamed significant increases in raw materials and energy costs.

Corus was more upbeat about the third quarter where it said it had managed to increase average selling prices by around 7-12% despite continued raw material cost increases. During the third quarter Corus increased pre-tax profit from £82m to £142m.

Corus chief executive Philippe Varin said: "Our financial performance improved in the third quarter through a combination of better market conditions and further benefits from our restoring success programme that is now drawing to a conclusion."

The results are overshadowed by the ongoing battle for the steel producer. This week Corus gave Brazilian producer CSN more time to formalise an offer after it outbid Tatu with a recent offer of 475p a share.

A shareholders EGM to approve the Tata deal has also been adjourned from December 4 to December 20.