Bluescope hit by NZ Steel sales drop

Last updated 18:15 18/02/2013

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Market weakness and a high New Zealand dollar have been blamed for a weaker contribution from NZ Steel in Australian Securities Exchange-listed Bluescope Steel's half yearly result announcement today.

NZ Steel, which operates at mill at Glenbrook, is Bluescope’s major New Zealand asset and contributed A$2 million to the overall result, down A$32m on the same first half period of 2012.

That’s despite nearly doubling iron sand export tonnage from 466,000 tonnes to 831,000 tonnes during the first-half of the financial year.

Sales revenue fell from A$346m to A$319 year-on-year for the half-year to 31 December 2012.

Bluescope said in a statement that a substantial improvement is expected in the second half, with lower conversion costs and increased volumes.

Expansion of iron sands exports are forecast, with 2.7m tonnes expected to be shipped each year after expansion of extraction at Taharoa and Waikato North Head from the beginning of 2014.

Bluescope announced an overall A$10m net loss after tax for the half year, a $518m turnaround year-on-year. Total sales fell from 4.5b to A$3.7b.

This story has been corrected to remove reference to Pacific Steel, which is owned by Fletcher Building not Bluescope.

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- Fairfax Media

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