Improved half-year outlook for BlueScope

BlueScope Steel has increased its second-half earnings guidance by 29 per cent, assisted by cost-cutting measures and improvements in iron ore and steel prices.

AAP reports that underlying earnings before interest and tax for the six months to June 30 was raised from $209 million to $270 million.

“The stronger performance has been driven largely by earlier delivery of targeted cost reductions, higher steel and iron ore prices, better than anticipated Australian domestic despatches and better than expected margins in the international businesses,” BlueScope said in a statement.

Cost-cutting measures brought in to counter the decline in iron ore – which was at about $US 40 a tonne and is now about $US 55 – had brought bigger than expected performance, The Australian reports.