BlueScope announces $1.04 billion loss

BlueScope Steel has announced a $1.04 billion loss for the year to June. This was a slight improvement on its $1.05 deficit from the previous financial year, coming in a period marked by the company’s restructure and a persistently high Australian dollar.

The company’s underlying loss was $238 million, but it expects to break even in its underlying earnings in the first half of the current business year.

BlueScope announced last week that it would sell half its coated product operations in the US and Asia to Nippon Steel. The announcement boosted share prices, though at 40 cents these are well down on their price of 63 cents 12 months ago.

The company closed its Port Kembla facilities and shed 1500 jobs last August, with the high Aussie dollar and slowing demand not helping. CEO Paul O’Malley believes that BlueScope is now well positioned to become profitable again.

"For the first half of financial year 2013, we expect a continued improvement in financial performance with an underlying net after tax loss – before period-end net realisable value adjustments – approaching break-even," said O’Malley. 

Earlier this month O’Malley opted for a pay freeze, following executives like Marius Kloppers of BHP and Tom Albanese of Rio Tinto, in an effort to keep investors satisfied.