Russian metal giant's shareholders approve dividend payout

The Russian metal producer Severstal's annual shareholder meeting approved the 2002 annual report and accounting statement, decided on the dividend payout, made a number of changes to the company's regulations, elected the new board of directors and the auditing committee. Also, the shareholders approved the new auditor of the company, Severstal's press service reported. The dividend payout was approved at RUR72 (nearly $2.3) per share.

According to a report made by Severstal General Director Anatoly Kruchinin, in 2002 the company produced 9.648m tons of steel and 8.460m tons of rolled products. The Severstal 2002 earnings amounted to some RUR60.323bn (about $1.96bn), which was 15 percent higher than in the same period of 2001. The company's 2002 net profits jumped by 20 percent to RUR6.354bn (about $206m).

In 2003, the company plans to produce nearly 8.7m tons of rolled products, i.e. 300,000 tons more than in 2002. The bulk of Severstal's products will be intended for the domestic market, Kruchinin pointed out.

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