Bluescope Steel reduces full year loss

Bluescope Steel has narrowed its net loss to $82.3 million for
the year to June 30, and made an underlying profit of $112.3 million.

AAP reports that the loss was an improvement on the previous
year’s loss of $107.1 million. The steel maker experienced higher margins and
sales volumes for the period, but these were offset by higher restructuring
costs.

Specifically, restructuring costs for the year totalled over
$55 million. In addition, writedowns to Australian operations totalled $87.6
million.

BlueScope Chairman, Graham Kraehe AO, said in a statement, “…
we have actively invested to lower our cost base, to better serve customers and
to grow our iron sands exports. These actions have laid a solid foundation for
a future return to paying dividends.”

Earnings from Asia and North America increased by 12 per
cent. However, the company’s building components and distribution business made
an underlying loss of $22.8 million.

Eearnings from the Australian business more than tripled due
to increased volumes and higher margins. And earnings from the New Zealand
business increased by over 100 per cent.

BlueScope’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr Paul O’Malley
said, “I wish to thank the BlueScope team for delivering on our turnaround plan
and achieving EBIT of $249.7 million, a significant increase of 237% on the
prior year, whilst maintaining low gearing.