Australia’s Bluescope Steel doubles profit, eyes mergers

Australia’s Bluescope Steel doubles profit, eyes mergers
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First Published: Mon, Aug 20 2007. 01 59 PM IST
Updated: Mon, Aug 20 2007. 01 59 PM IST
AFP
Sydney: Australia’s largest steelmaker BlueScope doubled its annual net profit to $548.8 million on the back of record revenue, the company said on 20 August.
BlueScope Steel Ltd said its revenue in the year to June had grown 11% to $8.9 billion.
Business in Asia grew substantially as new operations in China, Vietnam, Thailand and India were commissioned and ramped up, the company said.
Managing director and chief executive, Kirby Adams, told reporters BlueScope had enough cash for merger and acquisition opportunities.
“We are certainly looking,” he said.
BlueScope recently acquired Smorgon Steel Ltd’s distribution business as part of a deal which saw the rest of Smorgon taken over by Australia’s second-larges steel producer, OneSteel.
There has been speculation recently that the company itself might become a takeover target.
Adams, who will step down as chief executive in November, said BlueScope had received a number of informal approaches from international companies.
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, has been named as a possible suitor because of its desire to increase its presence in Asia.
BlueScope said higher sales volumes and prices and a profit on the sale of its Vistawall business for $190 million partly offset the higher cost of raw materials and the effects of changes in foreign exchange rates.
The company declared a final dividend of 26 cents, compared to 24 cents a year ago.
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First Published: Mon, Aug 20 2007. 01 59 PM IST
More Topics: Australia | Steel | BlueScope | revenue | net profit |