BlueScope Steel profit dips as markets soften

Primary steel producer BlueScope Steel has seen profit slumps from its major businesses as markets for its steel, coated products and buildings generally softened in the first half FY23.

The company reported first half net profit after tax of $599 million, a $1 billion drop from the previous corresponding period.

The company’s Australian steel products group delivered earnings before interest and tax of $274 million, down 55 percent.

While there was solid end-user demand, distributors lowering inventories in a falling price environment, as well as the arrival of delayed imports, softening despatches at year’s end.

Sales of Colorbond coated steels were higher that in the previous corresponding period.

BlueScope’s US steelmaking venture, which accounts for five percent of US steel production, delivered EBIT of $202 million, down 70 percent as prices and steel spreads fell.

The US mill is operating at full capacity and 60,000 tonnes of steel was produced from an expansion now underway.

EBIT for building products in Asia and North America was up eight percent to $165 million, while building and coated products in North America was up 118 percent to $173 million.

While China’s result was a record, ASEAN markets delivered a loss, New Zealand was down 40 percent and India was softer.

BlueScope CEOP Mark Vassella said underlying EBIT was a robust $851 million.

The company remains financially strong, with $606 million in net cash.

Picture: BlueScope Recycling USA

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