$278M EARNINGS BOON: SDI announces record production

FORT WAYNE – Steel Dynamics Inc. nearly doubled its profits during the past year.On Tuesday, Steel Dynamics reported 2011 annual earnings of $278 million, or $1.22 per diluted share, on sales of $8.0 billion. The profit is a 98 percent increase over the $141 million, or 64 cents a share, reported on sales of $6.3 billion the prior year.The Fort Wayne-based steel maker with its processing facility in Whitley County released its performance numbers after markets closed.Steel Dynamics also reported strong fourth-quarter earnings of $30 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, on sales of $1.9 billion. The results more than triple 2010’s fourth-quarter profit of $8 million, or 4 cents a share, on sales of $1.5 billion.Mark Millett, president and CEO, said in a written statement that company officials are pleased with the results, which marked several milestones, including record annual steel product and shipping volumes, a doubling of the company’s market share of railroad rail business, and record annual recycled metals shipping volumes,