Steel Mills

North Star BlueScope EBIT Soars 57%

Written by Sandy Williams

Australian company BlueScope Steel announced FY 2014 underlying EBIT of AUD 104.6 million (USD 97.2 million) for its 50 percent ownership of U.S. based North Star BlueScope Steel. The increased profit, up 57 percent from FY 2013 AUD 66.7 million, was due primarily to stronger spread from higher hot rolled coil prices that were partially offset by higher scrap costs. The company also cited a favorable exchange rate from a weaker Australian dollar versus the US dollar that was partly offset by unfavorable conversion costs due to higher power and utility rates.

Steel shipments totaled 987,600 tonnes (1.09 million net tons) FY 2014—489,900 tonnes in H1 and 497,700 tonnes in H2 (540,013 and 537,588 net tons, respectively).

BluesScope expects spread levels to be strong through the first half of FY 2015 (beginning July 1, 2014).

North Star concluded a feasibility study for a direct reduction iron (DRI) plant in July 2014, but dropped the project when it found the potential risks versus returns did not justify the investment

The North Star BlueScope Steel is a 50-50 venture between BlueScope Steel Ltd. and Minnesota based Cargill, Inc. The company is located in Delta, Ohio and produces hot rolled coil by electric arc furnace. North Star sells 80 percent of its production in the Midwest to an end market mix of 45 percent automotive, 25 percent construction, 10 percent agricultural and 20 percent manufacturing/industrial applications.

The shipment of steel reported above is for BlueScope’s 50 percent share in North Star. Multiplying 987,600 tonnes by two we can assume shipment of 1,975,200 tonnes (2.17 million net tons) for North Star BlueScope Steel for FY 2014. EBIT for FY 2014 would be US 194.4 million.

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