21 Feb 2014

Steel & Tube has optimistic outlook

10:02 am on 21 February 2014

Steel & Tube Holdings is optimistic about the outlook with an upswing in residential building, signs of growth in non-residential building and investment coming from the rural sector.

The company reported a 10 percent rise in net profit to $8 million in the six months to the end of December, compared with $7.2 million in last year's first half.

Sales rose 6 percent to nearly $212 million.

Steel & Tube says it has made substantial investments to ensure that it is well positioned to support the increased activity, which its chief executive Dave Taylor says is starting to materialise.

He says residential building activity has picked up due to the rebuilding going on in Christchurch.

Mr Taylor says non-residential building has been somewhat subdued since the global financial crisis, but inevitably there has to be a pick-up in that activity at some point, it's just a question of when.

He says the rural sector is looking much more positive than it has been with high commodity prices giving renewed confidence, as well as talk of new investment in the dairy sector and the viticulture sector is also looking more confident compared to a few years ago.