Australia's struggling BlueScope Steel Monday reported a Aus$1.04 billion (US$1.09 billion) net loss for the 2012 fiscal year, but said it was now well-positioned globally for growth.
The figure, taking in a Aus$315 million charge mostly in writedowns on goodwill, follows a Aus$1.05 billion full year loss for 2011 which prompted the company to cut more than 1,000 jobs and shut down its Australian export business.
"Financial year 2012 was a transforming year, we delivered what we promised," BlueScope chief executive Paul O'Malley said, referring to the 12 months ending June 30.
O'Malley said net debt was lower than forecast and the firm's Australian businesses were expected to post positive earnings in 2013, while globally the company was well-positioned for growth.
BlueScope this month announced a US$1.36 billion joint venture with Japan's Nippon Steel aimed at capturing growth in new market segments and easing concerns over its balance sheet, hard hit by the high Australian dollar.
The 50-50 joint venture, NS BlueScope Coated Products, will see Nippon Steel acquire half of BlueScope's interest in its Southeast Asian and North American building products businesses.
For the current financial year, BlueScope expects total capital expenditure for the group to be about Aus$300 million, with one third to be invested in growth projects, O'Malley said.
BlueScope has operations in Australia and New Zealand, Asia and the Pacific as well as in the United States.