Photograph: Reuters/China Daily.

Cape Town - In a rare glimpse of good news from the steel industry, Insimbi Refractory and Alloy Supplies announced on Wednesday that it expects an improvement in headline earnings per share of up to 80 percent for the six months to the end of August.

This update overtakes a forecast earlier this month of a 20 percent improvement. The company pointed to improved trading and operating conditions in the six month period, also noting that challenges in the local steel industry had been mitigated to a large degree by its diversification programme.

Headline earnings are now expected to come in at between 5.81 and 6.16 cents per share, an increase of between 2.39 and 2.74 cents per share.

The full results are expected on or before October 7.