BlueScope announces $851m EBIT for FY2023’s first half

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The new state-of-the-art plasma beamline cutting steel tube and beams
Image credit: BlueScope

ASX-listed steelmaker BlueScope has posted an underlying EBIT of $851 million and a net profit after tax (NPAT) of $599 million for the first half of fiscal year 2023. 

Mark Vasella, managing director and CEO of the company, said the result, which reflects a $1,045 million decrease from the first half of FY2022’s NPAT figure, comes as the company’s downstream businesses and operations offset the impact of steel spreads softening from record levels. 

“Operating cash flow for the half year, after capital expenditure, was $751 million and the balance sheet remains strong with $606 million net cash. This position continues to enable us to invest in long-term growth and deliver returns to shareholders through the economic and steel price cycle,” Vasella said. 

“The Board has approved a fully franked interim dividend of 25 cents per share; this is our first franked dividend since 2018, having now exhausted Australian tax losses and recommenced tax payments. In 1H FY2023, $120 million of stock was bought through the buy-back,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Australian company delivered an underlying EBIT of $86 million in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, down 40 per cent from the second half of FY 2022’s results. 

Underlying demand remained robust, particularly across the building and construction and infrastructure segments. 

In an ASX announcement, BlueScope said it continues to see the United States as an ideal place to make and sell flat steel products. 

At full capacity, North Star will represent approximately 5 per cent of total annual US flat steelmaking production, BlueScope noted in the announcement, citing recent consolidation among industry participants and ongoing growth in demand for steel in the market. 

The company expects the underlying EBIT in the second half of FY2023 to be in the range of $480 million to $550 million. 

Subject to spread, foreign exchange, and market conditions, the outlook is lower than the first half of FY2023 primarily due to softer Asian and Midwest steel spreads.