22 Aug 2012

Another big loss by steel company

11:47 am on 22 August 2012

BlueScope Steel has posted a loss above $A1 billion for the second consecutive year.

The net loss after tax was $A1.04 billion, down slightly from the previous year's $A1.05 billion loss.

The company says its underlying performance - which excludes a range of one-off restructuring costs, writedowns and tax costs - was a loss of $A238 million, compared with $A127 million the year before.

However, chief executive Paul O'Malley is optimistic about a return to profitability. He says he expects to see a turnaround in both residential and non-residential construction next year, though more should be done to boost slow credit growth.

"I think construction in Australia at the moment is absolutely being constrained by access to credit," Mr O'Malley says.

The ABC reports the loss came as no surprise. BlueScope pulled out of the export market, slashed jobs and cut half of its capacity last year.

Earlier this month, it said it would sell half of its building products businesses in South-east Asia and North America to Nippon Steel for $US540 million.