21 Feb 2012

Strong Australian dollar hurts steel maker

1:33 pm on 21 February 2012

Australia's biggest steel maker, Bluescope Steel, has posted a half-year loss of $A530 million as the high Australian dollar continues to hurt the manufacturing industry.

However executives at the company, which owns New Zealand Steel, say they are hopeful that last year's restructure will turn that loss around.

Bluescope closed two plants in Australia last year, cutting 1000 jobs, as it announced $A1 billion loss for the full year.

Chief executive Paul O'Malley says softening demand from China will eventually push down commodity prices and in turn the Australian dollar.

However he says the future for the company is Asia.