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SEOUL, March 30 (Reuters) - South Korean steelmaker POSCO said on Thursday it estimated its first-quarter operating profit likely jumped 82 percent, topping analysts' expectations, as rising steel prices outpaced growth in raw material costs.
Disclosing preliminary earnings guidance for the first time, the world's fourth-largest steelmaker said operating profit for January-March was about 1.2 trillion won ($1.07 billion), compared with 659.8 billion won a year ago and a consensus forecast of 816 billion won from 16 analysts' views.
POSCO, which estimated revenue climbed 17 percent to 14.6 trillion won in the period, expects to report final first-quarter numbers next month.
$1 = 1,118.4000 won Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell