Latin America's biggest steelmaker, Gerdau SA (GGBR4.BR, GGB), said it registered net profits of 397 million Brazilian reais ($206.77 million) in the first quarter, 3% less than the BRL409 million registered in the first quarter of 2011.
The result was affected by a "significant increase in costs of raw materials--iron ore, mineral coal and scrap," the company said later Wednesday in a statement. Gerdau said these factors continue to pressurize the margins of the company, which registered Ebitda, a measure of earnings before income tax and depreciation, of BRL1 billion, marginally below some analysts' expectations.
Net revenues in the first quarter were BRL9.2 billion, 10% above the year-earlier period, positively influenced by greater demand from the Brazilian construction sector, Gerdau said.
-By Diana Kinch, Dow Jones Newswires; 55 21 2586 6086; firstname.lastname@example.org
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