Kobe Steel Group achieved net sales of JPY922.1bn in the six months of 2010, up from JPY788.2bn on the same period last year.

Net income for the firm stands at JPY29.5bn to September 30, an increase of JPY74.8bn on 2009, while the company’s operating income increased by JPY94.5bn to JPY69.8bn.

Prospects for shareholders have improved with net income per share rising from a loss of JPY15.1 in 2009 to JPY9.8 for the first half of 2010.

Demand for Kobelco cranes remained low, with crane sales for 2010 so far dropping below the level achieved during the same period last year.

Kobe Steel Group benefited from strong sales performances by its welding, iron and steelwork, and machinery businesses, along with aluminium and copper product sales.

Sales of Kobelco construction machinery increased by 67.4% to JPY175.6bn, which the company attributes to high levels of demand in China and Southeast Asia

The firm anticipates similarly low levels of demand for cranes for the remainder of the financial year, and expects movement of exchange rates to further exacerbate the situation.