Audit Chamber Chairman Sergei Stepashin, who arrived in Magnitogorsk yesterday, opposes selling of the 17% state share in the Magnitogorsk Metal Works. "Why selling (it), when the company has an efficient owner, it operates and develops steadily, pays taxes honestly, and invests its profits in production, social services, and environmental programs?," Stepashin stated. The company's general director, Viktor Rashnikov, said for his part that the company had over fulfilled all its plans for 2001. According to preliminary information, the metal-roll production will reach 9 million tons, exceeding that of 2000 by 3.5%. The sales volume amounted to 47 billion rubles (about $1.6 billion), and a profit of 8 billion rubles (about $265.4 million) was derived. The profitability rate reached 21%. The company paid 4 billion rubles (about $132.7 million) to budgets at all levels. The wages rose by 35% compared to those of 2000, and the average income per one employee was 7,100 rubles (about $235.57). According to Rashnikov, the main achievement of the company is its investment program. The volume of investments in industrial and social facilities had increased from $170 million as of 2000 to $200 million.
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