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Corus sells sheet piling to Arcelor

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STEELMAKER Corus has axed its sheet piling manufacturing division in a bid to boost profits despite soaring steel prices and demand.

The Anglo-Dutch operation announced that it was selling its sheet piling manufacturing business to giant Arcelor with the loss of 156 jobs at its Scunthorpe plant.

Corus manufactured more than 150,000 tonnes of sheets at the mill last year, but blames oversupply in Europe as a key reason for its closure. Arcelor will not take over any plant from Corus, but will take over its commercial operations and the backlog of orders.

But Corus is to invest £32 million at the Scunthorpe mill to improve its steel plate and rod production lines at the cost of a further 80 jobs.

And in a busy week for the company it announced it was to raise £336 million in a bond sale in a bid to pay off a £270 million debt.