BlueScope Steel has lifted first-half profit 42 per cent to $624.3 million, helped by a 17 per cent increase in revenue due to stronger steel prices and a weaker Australian dollar.
The steelmaker said on Monday that profit for the six months to December 31 rose from $441.2 million a year earlier, while underlying earnings before interest and tax jumped 62 per cent to a record $849.6 million despite higher costs.
BlueScope beat the EBIT guidance of $830 million given in November and its shares were 38 cents, or 3.3 per cent, higher at $11.98 by 1045 AEDT.
‘It’s an excellent result, our best half on record,’ managing director and chief executive Mark Vassella said.
‘It was driven by strong demand and steel spreads in our US and Australasian markets.’
Mr Vassella confirmed full-year results are expected to improve for a third straight year.
Although the second half is expected to be softer than the first, BlueScope flagged a 10 per cent increase to full-year EBIT, which last year came in at $1.269 billion.
BLUESCOPE’S BARNSTORMING HALF
* Net profit up 42 pct to $624.3m
* Revenue up 17.4pct to $6.41b
* Unfranked interim dividend flat at 6.0 cents