FRANKFURT, Aug 18 (Reuters) - ThyssenKrupp aims to double operating profit in several years from its target of around 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion) for the current year to end-September, business newspaper Handelsblatt said on Monday, citing sources close to the company.
The target for the current year is already double the 586 million euros in adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) that ThyssenKrupp reported for 2012/2013.
The German group sees itself as needing a further improvement in operating profit to have the financial strength to resume paying a dividend and to make acquisitions, Handelsblatt said.
Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger has asked top managers to step up efforts to improve the business, and the board expects to achieve further cost savings by more closely linking different business areas, the paper added.
ThyssenKrupp declined comment.
Hiesinger has been trying to turn ThyssenKrupp around after a slump in the global steel sector and a failed foray into the Americas caused losses and prevented the group from paying shareholders a dividend for two years in a row.
ThyssenKrupp earlier this month raised the outlook for its current financial year ending to "breakeven to slightly positive net income", after a turnaround at its steel mill in Brazil, cost cuts and demand for elevators and chemical plants bolstered third-quarter earnings.
1 US dollar = 0.7483 euro Reporting by Jonathan Gould; editing by Jane Baird