Steel Mills

North Star is a Winner for BlueScope Steel

Written by Sandy Williams

North Star BlueScope was a key contributor to FY 2019 results for Australian parent BlueScope Steel. Revenue at North Star totaled $916 million in the first half of the fiscal year and $784 million in the second half. Total FY 2019 revenue was $1.7 billion, up from $1.49 billion in FY 2018.

North Star BlueScope’s second-half shipments increased to 1,073,900 metric tons from 1,036,400 tons in the first half of FY 2019. Shipments totaled 2.11 million MT for the fiscal year, a slight increase from FY 2018.

North Star continued to operate at full capacity in FY 2019.

Looking ahead, the company expects benchmark spreads in the U.S. to soften through the first half of FY 2020 to a level approximately $90 per ton lower than 2H FY 2019. Volumes are expected to decline due to normal seasonality, while a modest increase is forecast for consumables, including electrodes.

The big news for North Star was the green lighting of a $700 million expansion that will include a third EAF and second caster at the mill in Delta, Ohio, which will increase capacity by 936,000 net tons. Initial production is anticipated for late 2021.

BlueScope Steel reported a FY 2019 net profit after tax of AUS $1.015 billion (U.S. $688 million).

“Underlying EBIT for the year was $1,348.3 million, up 6 per cent or $79 million over FY 2018. This was our third successive full year with underlying EBIT above $1.1 billion,” said BlueScope Managing Director and CEO Mark Vassella. “Despite some softening in commodity steel spreads and domestic volumes in the second half, in FY 2019 BlueScope delivered another very good result.”

Underlying EBIT rose 52 percent year-over-year at North Star, but fell at all other divisions of BlueScope in FY 2019. EBIT declines of 9 percent were reported at Australian Steel and 27 percent at Building Products Asia & North America. EBIT dropped 28 percent at both Buildings North America and New Zealand & Pacific Steel.

NOTE: AUS $1.00 = U.S. $.68; NorthStar BlueScope amounts in U.S. dollars

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