The West

Fortescue Metals believes iron ore prices will firm in the short term and the WA company will emerge stronger despite shedding 1000 jobs and shelving its expansion plans.

While the company's decision to sack employees and contractors in August had caused "real pain," slowing the expansion plans had been necessary and staff would be welcome back "whenever the opportunity arises", chairman Andrew Forrest said.

"While we endured hardships during the first few months of the 2013 financial year, we remain confident iron ore prices will firm and we will emerge in an even stronger position in the months and years ahead," Mr Forrest said in the iron ore miner's annual report.

The iron ore price, which hovered around $US90 a tonne in September, has recently risen back to more than $US115 a tonne.

Broker CLSA predicts a return to $US129 a tonne levels by the end of the year.

Fortescue continues to see strong demand from its Asian customers for additional tonnes of iron ore, Mr Forrest said.

"We continue to see strong demand from our customers, new and old, as we sign up commitments for additional tonnes of iron ore to be met by our expansion."

The Perth-based iron ore producer, which will mark its tenth birthday next year, said it had slowed its expansion to remove a spending spike from its forecasts as it pushes towards producing 155 million tonnes per annum.

Chief executive Nev Power said over the past 12 months the company had exceeded its 55 million tonne target.

The annual report showed Mr Power received $3.01 million in remuneration in fiscal 2012, while Mr Forrest was paid $165,677.

Executive Peter Meurs received $8.15 million, including $5.83 million in share based options.

Fortescue will hold its annual general meeting at the Hyatt Regency Perth at 11.00am on November 14.

Fortescue Metalsclosed 11 cents lower at $3.84.

The West Australian

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