According to Meps, the financial results reported by the main EU stainless steel companies for the latter part of 2005 were dreadful. Profits fell sharply, and in some cases were eliminated completely. Spain’s Acerinox reported a 54% slump in pre-tax income for 2005. At ThyssenKrupp, the stainless division’s earnings were nearly wiped out. Pre-tax profit for October-December 2005 was a mere EUR 7 million, compared with EUR 125 million in the same period a year before. TK’s cold rolling joint venture in China fell into the red as additional capacities entered the market, creating over-supply and pushing down prices. Outokumpu’s operating profits collapsed from EUR 436 million in 2004 to just EUR 83 million in 2005. Ugine & ALZ remained in the black, but annual profit was almost halved. The fourth quarter result represented a return on sales of less than 1%.