BlueScope differentiates with new technology
Full year 2013 results announced in August by Bluescope represent an enormous turnaround in the company’s financial performance and is an encouraging signal after four tough years for Australia’s biggest steel maker.
Underlying profit, excluding one-off items, came to $29.7 million for the year ended June 30 and BlueScope’s Coated and Industrial Products Australia (CIPA) business made a positive EBITDA contribution.
This has been achieved despite what most in the building industry regard as one of the worst and most prolonged construction slumps in Australian history, and makes the company optimistic that its business is well placed to benefit from any recovery.
In the wake of the global financial crisis, BlueScope was confronted by the perfect storm, including significant headwinds from a strong Australian dollar, increased raw material input costs, rising competition from imports and soft domestic demand.
The result also makes BlueScope confident that a decision made during the depths of the GFC to continue investment in the development and commercialisation of the next generation of steel products was the right one, and one that is expected to pay dividends.
BlueScope has invested more than $100 million bringing to production a new steel coating formula it calls Activate® technology.
Covered by a worldwide patent, the formulation adds two magnesium compounds to the traditional aluminium and zinc coating of COLORBOND® steel and ZINCALUME® steel.
The result is more durable products than their predecessors with longer warranties, smaller environmental footprint and a point-of-difference over competitors.*^
In addition, BlueScope has improved the paint technology of COLORBOND®, delivering improved colour durability and gloss retention compared with previous-generation COLORBOND® steel.
The new paint technology combined with Activate® technology are designed with the aim of enabling new COLORBOND® steel to meet customer expectations of appearance over a longer period of time.
BlueScope’s approach to competition is to continually develop intellectual property and proprietary technology that allows it to differentiate its value proposition away from the commodity end of the market.
BlueScope possesses one of Australia’s largest in-house manufacturing R&D centres at our Port Kembla steelworks, with no fewer than 35 PhD scientists working on future product opportunities.
BlueScope’s global portfolio is not only profitable but provides significant growth opportunities.
The company has been operating in Asia for over 40 years, and now has operations spanning 17 countries, including China, India, New Zealand, Thailand, the US and Vietnam.
COLORBOND®, ZINCALUME®, Activate®, BlueScope®, the BlueScope brand mark and ® colour names are registered trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. ™ colour names are trade marks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2013 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved. * Warranty subject to application and eligibility criteria. There are various factors that will determine whether a building is eligible for a warranty and the duration of any applicable warranty. Such factors include, but are not limited to, product selection, environmental influences, manufacturing specifications and product specific requirements. For full terms and conditions and to determine the eligibility of your building for the warranty visit bluescopesteel.com.au/warranties or call BlueScope Steel on 1800 064 384. ^An environmental life cycle assessment (LCA) has concluded that when used in a roofing application in commercial and industrial buildings, COLORBOND® XRW steel AM100 reduced environmental impacts compared to COLORBOND® XRW steel AZ150, across 18 environmental impact categories. A separate environmental LCA has concluded that when used in a roofing application in commercial and industrial buildings, ZINCALUME® steel AM125 reduced environmental impacts compared to ZINCALUME® steel AZ150, across 18 environmental impact categories. These improvements are the result of innovation in the metal coating formulation that delivers an increased lifespan while using fewer metal resources.