Steel & Tube posts $37m half year loss

Steel & Tube has recorded a large half-year loss, in line with forecasts, mostly because of a $37 million write-down in asset values.

For the six months ended December the steel manufacturing company made a $36.9m loss.

Chief executive Mark Malpass said the company expected an improved second half.

"While the decline in industry activity is beyond Steel & Tube's control, we have focussed on improving underlying operating costs, margins and working capital. Cash flow has remained robust and we reduced net debt."

Revenue fell 10 percent to $231.9m as market market conditions got tougher, including high rise construction work and a contraction in the stainless steel market.

In January, the company warned of the write-downs, along with a further expected $4m in restructuring costs and debt write-offs.

Settlement for a Christchurch property was expected later this week - the $5.8m value expected to be used to further reduce debt.

"Our priority is on customer service and streamlining the business to deliver profitable growth. We are seeing signs of improving business confidence including the recent government announcement to increase infrastructure investment, which should lead to increased market activity," Malpass said.

This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.

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