Australia’s last remaining listed steelmaker, Bluescope, has continued its extraordinary recovery, posting a $1.6 billion profit.
The result, while boosted by one-off gains of $743 million, was 119 per cent up on last year.
Underlying earnings — stripping out those one-off items — came in 26 per cent higher at $826 million, which was ahead of market expectations.
The company’s earnings accelerated in the second half of the year on the back of rising steel prices in both its US and Australian markets.
It was Bluescope’s strongest six months in a decade, since the GFC and soaring Chinese production of cheap steel threatened its viability.
Despite an unfavourable shift in the Australian dollar, sales revenues rose 9 per cent to $11.5 billion.
Shareholders have been rewarded with an 8 cents per share final dividend, up 60 per cent on last year, while the company’s $300 million share buyback has been boosted by another $250 million over the next six months.
The company said earnings should continue to rise, forecasting a 10 per cent increase for the first half.
More to come.