Sparrows Point checks average $2,100 Profit-sharing time at Bethlehem Steel

March 19, 1996|By Gary Gately | Gary Gately,SUN STAFF

About 14,000 Bethlehem Steel Corp. employees cashed in on a successful year when the company made 1995 profit-sharing payments.

At Beth Steel's Sparrows Point steel yard, the 5,400 employees received checks averaging $2,100, well above last year's $1,500 payment.

Besides Sparrows Point, employees at only one other Beth Steel division received the 1995 payments, based on their profitability.

At the Burns Harbor Division, based in Indianapolis, about 8,600 employees received profit-sharing checks averaging $4,600.

The profit-sharing came as a result of a 1993 agreement between the United Steelworkers of America and Beth Steel.

As part of the agreement, employees receive a share of the corporation's annual consolidated income, based on the performance of each division determined by its income before interest and taxes.

Curtis H. Barnette, Beth Steel's chairman, praised the Sparrows Point and Burns Harbor divisions for their roles in improving the Bethlehem, Pa.-based corporation's profitability.

In a statement, he credited the two divisions with "helping move Bethlehem toward our vision of being the premier steel company" and said the corporation lists among its chief goals returning all of its operating divisions to profitability.

Beth Steel reported last month 1995 earnings of $180 million, or $1.24 a share, on sales of $4.9 billion.

It reported earning $81 million, or 35 cents a share, in 1994, on $4.8 billion in sales. The 1995 profit came entirely from the company's steel businesses.

Though fourth-quarter earnings fell below Wall Street expectations, analysts remained upbeat.

They pointed to a reasonably strong steel market and said the industry worked off much of its excess inventory by cutting production in late 1995.

Beth Steel does not provide profits or losses for individual divisions, but acknowledged that its Bethlehem Structural Products Corp. in Beth Forge, Pa., and Pennsylvania Steel Technologies Inc. in Harrisburg, were not profitable.

Pub Date: 3/19/96

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