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New Zealand Steel Half Year Results

New Zealand Steel Half Year Results

Auckland, February 27 – New Zealand Steel today announced earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of NZ$24 million for the half year ended 31 December, 2002.

President New Zealand Steel, Mr Cyril Benjamin said: “EBIT for the first half year was NZ$24 million, up approximately NZ$9 million, or 60 per cent, on the corresponding period last year. This result was driven by a solid production performance resulting in stronger sales into both the domestic and exports markets.

“New Zealand Steel has faced a number of challenges in the past 18 months, including the imposition of 30 per cent tariffs on our exports to the United States. This is a very creditable result and one all our people can take pride in,” Mr Benjamin said.

Production for the six month period was up by 8,000 tonnes from the previous corresponding period to December 2001, to 305,000 tonnes. This was a 20 per cent increase over the previous six months ended June 2002 which included the rebuilding of No 2 Melter.

Domestic despatches at 130,000 tonnes, were up 9,000 tonnes on the previous six months and up 13,000 tonnes from the corresponding period in the 2002 financial year. Export despatches were up 32,000 tonnes from the half year ended June 2002 and up 16,000 tonnes from the corresponding period in the previous financial year.

Mr Benjamin said: “Export demand remains strong, including higher prices for export hot rolled coil to the United States. Net prices, after allowing for the Section 201 tariffs, were higher than for the corresponding period last year.

“I’m delighted with our continued improvement in managing safety and our impact on the environment. The good production and marketing performances, and our continued efforts to implement business improvement initiatives, have resulted in a solid overall business performance which will help to secure our business for the longer term,” he said.

New Zealand Steel is part of the BHP Steel Limited group of companies, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, and today reported a net profit after tax (NPAT)of A$242 million for the half year to December 31, 2002.

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