S&P ups POSCO’s rating to BBB+ with positive outlook

SEOUL, Standard & Poor's ratings agency on Tuesday raised POSCO's rating to BBB+ with a positive outlook, from BBB- with a stable outlook, on the steelmaker's improving financial status.

S&P expected South Korea's No. 1 steel mill to continue to post solid earnings results this year, helped by rising demand for high-end products.

Two other international ratings agencies, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings, have recently raised their ratings for POSCO as they expect the steel firm's financial health to improve in the coming years despite increased investments.

This month, Moody's raised POSCO's rating to Baa1 from Baa2 with a stable outlook and Fitch upgraded its rating to BBB+ from BBB, POSCO said in a statement.

"The upgrade reflects our expectation that the improving trend in POSCO's financial profile will be sustained over the next 1-2 years, driven by continued debt reductions and robust earnings," Sean Hwang, a Moody's analyst, said in a statement.

In the January-March quarter, POSCO posted a net profit of 1.084 trillion won (US$977 million), up 11 percent from 976.9 billion won a year earlier. Operating income rose 9 percent on-year to 1.488 trillion won on sales of 15.862 trillion won, a 5.2 percent on-year gain.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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