Rautaruukki Corporation reported Q1 sales of €505M.

This compared to Q1 sales last year of €506M. Its loss was €36M this year compared to €113M the same time last year.

Despite this the company estimates a 15-20% year-on-year growth in net sales in 2010. Profitability is expected to improve compared to the previous year and the full-year result before income tax is estimated to be positive.

It said that demand in the steel business was brisker than a year earlier. Sales of special steel products improved more than other product groups. It supported sales of special steel products by expanding its distribution network in China, Turkey and Brazil.

Selling prices of steel products were lower year on year and were at about the same level as in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Even though selling prices started to rise towards the end of the report period, this did not yet have an impact on net sales in the steel business during the first quarter.