BlueScope Steel annual loss tops $1 billion
BlueScope Steel has posted a $1.04 billion loss for its financial year, confirming figures released a week ago.
The net loss was a slight improvement from the previous year’s $1.05 billion shortfall.
The steelmaker's underlying loss was $238 million and it plans no final dividend.
BlueScopesaid it expects underlying earnings to approach break-even levels during the current first half of its business year.
Faced with weak markets, high raw materials prices and a high currency that made exports more expensive, BlueScope last year pulled out of the export market, slashed jobs and cut half of its steel-making capacity.
Last Monday, the company revealed its loss as it announced a plan to sell half its coated products operations in Asia and the US to Japan's Nippon Steel for $US540 million in cash. That news send the company's stock soaring.
In the year to June, the company took impairment charges on some of its assets, and undertook a restructure as it came under pressure from the high Australian dollar and slowing demand.
It has cut nearly 1,500 jobs in the past 12 months, shut facilities at Port Kembla in NSW and closed its steel export business.
Chief executive Paul O’Malley on Monday said the 2011/12 financial year was a transforming year for the company.
BlueScope’s Australian businesses were expected to be earnings positive in the 2012/13 financial year, he said.
‘‘Globally, we are now well-positioned for growth,’’ Mr O’Malley said in a statement.
‘‘For the (first half) of FY2013, we expect a continued improvement in financial performance with an underlying net after tax loss approaching breakeven.’’
The Nippon Steel deal caused BlueScope’s share price to jump by half, but at 40 cents they remain well below the 63 cents they were worth 12 months ago.
Reuters, AAP with BusinessDay