ArcelorMittal has reported a 67 per cent jump in profits signalling a possible return to prosperity for the beleaguered steel industry.

The world's largest steel manufacturer made £654 million ($1.07 billion) net profit in the first quarter. This was in part because of rise in a demand for steel as well as a hike in prices, but as the BBC reported, part of this massive rise in income was owed to the sale of their $419 million stainless steel business.

The company, which is based in Luxembourg, said that it expected world steel consumption to rise by six to seven per cent this year.

Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and chief executive of the steel producers, said that the current trend implied that 2011 would be a "stronger year than 2010", suggesting that many companies could be considering steel security fencing.

According to the Gazette, ArcelorMittal said that in the second quarter steel production would be running at 85 per cent capacity, up from 75 per cent.

Lakshmi Mittal is the world's sixth richest man with a personal fortune of £23.8 billion ($31.1 billion) and owns 41 per cent of the company' stock.

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