Australia's Bluescope posts first annual underlying profit in 3 years
SYDNEY Aug 19 (Reuters) - Bluescope Steel, Australia's largest steelmaker, posted a small full-year underlying profit, its first in three years, helped by lower material costs and benefits from a restructure.
But the company said that uncertainty over domestic demand meant that "we do not expect a 1H FY2014 outcome better than the 2H FY2013 outcome."
Underlying profit, excluding one-off items, came to A$29.7 million ($27 million) for the year ended June 30, swinging from a loss of A$237.5 million a year earlier, BlueScope said on Monday.
The result exceeded analysts' average forecast of A$25.08 million, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
Bluescope's full-year net loss narrowed to A$84.1 million from a A$1.04 billion ($1.1 billion) net loss in the previous year.
Bluescope has been losing money since 2010, faced with weak markets, high raw materials prices and a high currency that made exports more expensive.
The company also said on Monday that it has agreed to acquire two businesses from Hills Holdings Limited: Orrcon, a pipe and tube manufacturer and distributor, and Fielders, a building products business, for a total of A$87.5 million.
Bluescope shares closed at A$5.45 on Friday, up about 58 percent for the year. ($1 = 1.0869 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang and Jane Wardell; Editing by Chris Gallagher)
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