Steelmaker BlueScope has told investors that it expects underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of around $340 million for the current half year, a 30 per cent increase over the first six months of 2020.
Managing director Mark Vassella said: “Despite the global disruption caused by Covid-19, we’ve had a solid performance from all of our operating segments for the three months to September 30.
“This is a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of BlueScope’s strategy and the resilience of our asset portfolio.”
Vassella said benchmark steel spreads had improved and demand in most markets was robust.
“This has been supported by current strength in alterations and additions activity, demand for detached housing, rapid growth in e-commerce and logistics, and the recovery of the US automotive industry, which is a key end-market for North Star.
“Nonetheless there remains uncertainty in the current environment.”
Vassella said there were risks in the evolving impact of Covid-19 and broader macroeconomic weakness dampening demand.
In Australia domestic demand has remained robust and there were benefits from sales on Asian spot markets and exports of coke.
In the US North Star continued to despatch at full capacity – a major investment is underway to boost output.
The outlook for ASEAN and Indian markets has improved significantly.
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