CLEVELAND, Aug. 5, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Olympic Steel, Inc., (Nasdaq:ZEUS), a national steel service center, today announced its financial results for the second quarter and first half ended June 30, 2010. Net sales for the second quarter of 2010 totaled $212.8 million, a 73.8% increase from the $122.4 million for the second quarter of 2009. Tons sold in the second quarter of 2010 increased 45.2% to 252 thousand from 174 thousand in the second quarter of 2009. Second quarter 2010 net income totaled $3.3 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $33.8 million, or $3.11 per diluted share for last year's second quarter. Last year's second quarter results included a $50.5 million lower of cost or market pretax charge to write down the value of inventory as of June 30, 2009. Net sales for the first half of 2010 totaled $380.7 million, a 44.6% increase from the $263.3 million for the first half of 2009. Tons sold in the first half of 2010 increased 37.2% to 474 thousand from 345 thousand in the first half of 2009. First half 2010 net income totaled $5.0 million, or $0.45 per diluted share, compared to a net loss of $59.3 million, or $5.45 per diluted share for last year's first half. The 2009 results included $81.1 million of lower of cost or market pretax charges to write down the value of inventory as of March 31 and June 30, 2009. Commenting on the results, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Siegal stated, "We are pleased with our second quarter results, and the sequential improvements in sales and earnings over the first quarter. Our second quarter shipments increased by 14% over the first quarter of 2010, and our shipments in the first half of 2010 increased year over year by 37.2%, nearly doubling the market increase in total steel shipments of 19.1%, as reported in the Metals Service Center Institute's Market Activity Report. Our balance sheet remains exceptionally strong. We recently closed on a new $125 million, five year, asset based loan facility, which provides Olympic Steel with improved availability and greater flexibility to grow our business over the next five years, while lowering our borrowing cost, as compared to our prior facility. The new facility provides Olympic Steel with a favorable capital structure to grow through greenfield locations and acquisition opportunities. We expect to invest in growth initiatives in the second half of 2010, despite third quarter normal seasonal market softness and the accompanying price pressures that follow."