15 Aug 2008

19% profit drop at steel company

6:04 am on 15 August 2008

Net profit at Steel & Tube Holdings is down 19% to $22.5 million compared to a year ago.

Revenue for the same period grew by 8% to $504 million and the company declared a final dividend of 10 cents a share.

The result excludes restructuring of the Hurricane Wire Products business and a gain from the sale of a property was $23.3 million.

Chief executive Nick Calavrias says profits in the second half of the year improved substantially, despite a slowing economy.

Challenges included the exchange rate, high interest rates, drought, and declining consumer sentiment.

However, Mr Calavrias says the domestic construction sector should improve next year due mainly to infrastructure projects and activity relating to the 2011 rugby world cup.