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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal ISPA.AS, the world's largest steel producer, said on Friday its core profit in the first quarter had more than doubled as both steel prices and shipments increased.
Core profit (EBITDA) rose by 140 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier to $2.231 billion, above the $2.097 billion expected in a Reuters poll of 10 analysts.
Compared to the first quarter of 2016, ArcelorMittal increased sales and core profit in all of its markets, with the sharpest increase in Europe.
Brazil, an important market for ArcelorMittal which has suffered from a recession and a political crisis, also saw an increase in sales and profits compared to both the fourth quarter and the first quarter of last year.
ArcelorMittal, which expects steel demand in Brazil to rise by up to 4 percent this year, added that the increased profit there was due to higher selling prices and despite lower shipments.
The group's mining operations also saw a sharp increase in profitability on the back of higher market prices for sea-borne iron ore and increased coal prices.
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop