Russel Metals net income jumps in fourth quarter on strong U.S. steel demand

TORONTO — Russel Metals Inc. says its net income jumped 64 per cent in the fourth quarter amid strong demand as it navigated challenging trade issues.

The metals distributor and processor says it had net income of $46 million or 74 cents per share for the quarter ending Dec. 31, up from $28 million or 45 cents per share for the same quarter a year earlier.

Russel Metals CEO John Reid says in a statement that strong earnings were a result of the company’s ability to utilize local market knowledge to react quickly to the changing environment.

He says the ability of the company’s distributors to source products through international trade networks also contributed to earnings.

The metals industry has been struggling through the complications of U.S. tariffs on international steel and aluminum tariffs, which Canada has responded to with counter-tariffs.

Reid says that while the company performed well in 2018, it is seeing some downward pressure on steel pricing and lower spending on energy infrastructure.

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