Leading steelmaker ArcelorMittal (MT) - Get Report on Friday announced  a better-than-expected quarter-on-quarter improvement in sales and earnings as the prices of its products increased.

Core profit, or Ebitda, was $1.77 billion, up from $927 million in the previous quarter and well above the consensus estimates of $1.51 billion compiled by Bloomberg, or the $1.57 billion in a Reuters poll. Sales were $14.74 billion in the three months to June, an improvement on the $13.4 billion reported in the first quarter.

The company said the  quarter-on-quarter improvement was primarily due to an uptick selling prices and steel shipments. Tonnages were also up nearly 3% compared with the first quarter, largely due to increased deliveries to Brazil, Europe and Asia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The company's share rose strongly on the news and were  up 3.14% at €5.62 ($6.23) in early trading on the Amsterdam exchange.

"Although the industry continues to face the challenges of structural overcapacity, we are seeing better market conditions compared with the second half of 2015 which lead us to be cautiously optimistic about the remainder of the year," said Chief Executive Officer Lakshmi Mittal.

However, the out-turn was still poorer than in the same quarter last year. Second-quarter sales were 12.7% lower than a year earlier, primarily due to lower an 11.8% drop in average steel selling prices, lower market-priced iron ore shipments and lower iron ore reference prices.

The company also took a hit from foreign exchange rates as well as impairment charges related to the sale of a Spanish plant and the closure of the Georgetown facility in the U.S.

Operating profit for the second quarter was $1.87 billion, compared with just $275 million in the first quarter and $579 million in the second quarter of last year. The company put this down to an exceptional one-time gain on employee benefits following the signing of a new labor contract in the U.S., which boosted profit for the quarter by $832 million.

Net profit for the second quarter was $1.1 billion, or $0.38 earnings per share, compared with a net loss in the first quarter of $416 million or an earnings-per-share loss of 23 cents. Net profit in the second quarter of last year was $179 million and EPS was 10 cents.

ArcelorMittal repeated its full-year guidance for its 2016 Ebitda to be above $4.5 billion, compared with the $5.2 billion achieved in 2015.