17 Aug 2009

Bluescope Steel earnings in NZ up slightly

10:03 pm on 17 August 2009

Australian steel maker Bluescope Steel says full-year earnings in New Zealand rose slightly, thanks to higher prices.

Bluescope's New Zealand and Pacific operations saw sales fall 4% to $A695 million due to weaker demand in the housing market and distributors reducing stocks.

Lower diary prices and shrinking manufacturing activity also hurt demand.

Gross earnings rose $A2.87 million, thanks to higher prices for steel products, lower electricity costs and lower exchange rate against the American dollar - all of which was partly offset by higher coal costs.

Overall, Australia's largest steelmaker lost $A66 million.