‘Restoring Success’ initiative lives up its name as it creates £120 m profit.

The Corus Group has seen group operating profit more than double, rising to £483 m for the first six months of 2005. Turnover for the period was £5.3 bn, with pre-tax profits of £435 m, up from £156 m for the first six months of 2004.

External turnover increased as the group benefited from higher average steel selling prices, more than off-setting an 8% reduction in deliveries, which Corus says is a result of poor market conditions. It said that its vastly improved operating profit was largely down to ‘Restoring Success’ – a business turnaround initiative to deliver EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) benefits – which accounts for some £120m, or 35% of the increase.

Looking to the future, Corus said that weak apparent demand in Europe had created downward pressure on selling prices, and that it had reduced steel production in response to this.

Chief executive Philippe Varin said: “Corus has delivered a strong financial performance in the first half of 2005, despite the more challenging market conditions. Restoring Success remains on track and provides a firm foundation going forward.”