Bluescope upgrades half-year profit, assisted by US margins, acquisition

Image: ABC TV

Bluescope has made its fourth profit upgrade in a year, greatly assisted by improved steel margins in the US.

The Australian Financial Review reports that it was the second profit upgrade in as many months, and the June half earnings before interest and tax were revised from May’s estimate of $270 million to $340 million.

A big part of the result was improved margins in North America, with hot rolled coil prices up 66 per cent since January to US 620 per tonne, notes The Australian. In October, Bluescope spent $US 720 million lifting its share in Ohio’s North Star mill from half to all of the plant.

Macquarie described the profit upgrade as “born in the US… As we have been pointing out, the key upside risk in the story has been North Star’s performance in light of strong US hot rolled coil price.”

Bluescope’s underlying EBIT for the full financial year was $570 million.