Bluescope Steel shares down

Bluescope shares experienced a fall of more than eight per
cent yesterday, despite the steelmaker posting a strong increase in first half
profit.

News.com.au reports that BlueScope shares closed 45 cents,
or 8.1 per cent, down at $5.10. Analysts said the drop was probably due to
fears about falling steel prices.

However, as the ABC reports, the company’s shares have risen
in the last three years from a low of $1.47 in 2012.

Bluescope 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.

BlueScope chief executive Paul O’Malley told News.com.au the
company had benefitted from the lowering of the Australian dollar.

“As the Australian dollar has settled back into the 70s
we can compete and the ability of Australian producers to manufacture products,
higher education, tourism activities is competitive relative to the rest of the
world again,” O’Malley said.

“When you get that some sort of competition for a year
or two under your belt you start to feel confident about reinvesting in that
capability in Australia.

“We are seeing a more positive vibe across sectors,
with small customer manufacturers of simple things like window frames or doors
starting to say you can do it now more cost effectively than importing from
overseas.”