ArcelorMittal,the world's largest steelmaker, posted a rise in first-quarter core profitswhich topped its own guidance and said it saw demand from emerging marketscontinuing to push profits higher.

Despiteglobal economic uncertainties, we are continuing to see strong demand for steeland a healthy pricing dynamic, Chief Executive and Chairman LakshmiMittal said in a statement.

He addedthat ArcelorMittal, which has heavily invested in high growth regions, was wellpositioned to continue to take advantage of the current market trend.

Since its creationArcelorMittal has pursued consolidation, with a flurry of investments andacquisitions in developing countries such as Senegal, India, Russia and China.

Earningsbefore interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) totalled $5.04billion against the average forecast in a Reuters poll of eight analysts of$5.06 billion.

ArcelorMittalhad forecast a range of $4.7 billion to $5 billion.

Sales andnet profit was $29.81 billion and $2.37 billion while the Reuters poll ofanalysts gave averages of $29.78 billion and $2.49 billion respectively.

The companysaid EBITDA in the second quarter would be above $6.5 billion largely onaccount of strong demand for our products across all regions.

It said EBITDAlevels across all divisions were expected to increase in the second quarter aswell as total shipments.

Shares inthe group rose 1.5 percent to 63.07 euros by 0729 GMT.

ArcelorMittalin a separate statement also announced a price increase for its flat carbonproducts in Europe, in a move to offset a rise in rawmaterial prices and pass on the costs to customers.

Two yearsafter the end of the takeover battle that finally led to the friendly purchaseof Arcelor by Mittal Steel, the company said on Wednesday it achieved capturingthe $1.6 billion syngergy target it promised to shareholders.

ArcelorMittalChief Executive Lakshmi Mittal became chairman of the steelmaker on Tuesday,increasing his control over the company but fuelling worries among someshareholders about the extent of his powers.

ArcelorMittal,which accounts for about 10 percent of the world's steel output, has a marketcapitalisation close to 90 billion euros ($139.1 billion) and has seen thevalue of its shares rise more than 65 percent in the past year.

The groupis seeking to raise its own iron ore production to 75 percent of consumption inthe coming years, a goal announced before BHP Billiton announced its plan toacquire rival Rio Tinto. (Editing by Louise Ireland)

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