BEIJING, July 19 (Xinhua) - The Wuhan Iron and Steel Group has nearly halved its 2012 profit target to 1.6 billion yuan, dragged down by sluggish demand.
Deng Qilin, general manager of the company, revealed the new target at an internal conference on Wednesday, attributing the lower target to "a range of factors in the second half," the Wuhan Evening News reported.
China's steelmakers are experiencing their most difficult times in a decade, as their profits have been squeezed by weak demand amid a prolonged global economic slowdown and the high cost of iron ore.
The company has shifted part of its resources to build factories in south China's Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region and acquired mines and other assets overseas to counter the slowdown.
The company predicted that its first half sales revenues will increase94 percent to 98.9 billion yuan.
China's economic growth slowed to a three-year low of 7.6 percent in the second quarter and is expected to bottom out in the second half.
Deng said the company will make every effort to survive, pledging to make half of its product categories profitable.