Bluescope Steel lifts first half profit

Australian steelmaker, Bluescope has lifted net profit after tax for the first half of 2015 to $92.7 million and announced dividend payments for shareholders.

The company said in a statement that the net profit result represented an $89 million increase from the corresponding period last year.

In addition, the underlying net profit for the period ($79.6 million) was 62 per cent higher than the first half of 2014, and 26 per cent higher than the second six months of 2014.

According to AAP, Bluescope has been restructuring its business in response to the negative effects of the recent oversupply of steel which was caused mainly by a boost in production from China.

On top of the positive effects of the restructuring, Bluescope has benefited from the recent drop in the value of the Australian dollar.

BlueScope Chairman, Graham Kraehe AO, said, “The turnaround is successful. Strategic investments in Australian and international growth markets are already translating into earnings performance. BlueScope is building a globally diversified portfolio of assets that positions the Company for the future.

“We are particularly pleased to see the earnings growth in our Australian business where margins have expanded. The recently acquired businesses are performing as planned and we’re benefitting from the best residential construction activity for years.

After paying no dividend last year, BlueScope will re-introduce a fully-franked dividend of three cents per share.