Thursday 13th November 2008
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He told the company's annual meeting that profit may rise this year, even amid difficult trading.
"Trading conditions for the second half of our financial year have the potential to be one of the most difficult faced and the impact on our business is therefore too difficult to predict at this time," Calavrias said in a statement. "We do, however, expect to post an improved result for the 2008/09 financial year."
Shares of the company fell 0.4% to $2.84 bringing their decline this year to 24%, a better performance than the NZX 50, which fell 32%. Last month, Australia's OneSteel abandoned a takeover offer for Steel & Tube at $4 a share, citing market volatility and the more uncertain outlook for the target company given New Zealand's economic slump.
Net profit fell 19% to $22.5 million in the year ended June 30.
"It is also our expectation that the construction of residential housing will continue to decline in the near term," the company said. Still "we expect a gradual improvement from the construction sector early to mid 2009" as interest rates fall and demand rises for infrastructure projects and commercial activity relating to the 2011 Rugby World Cup."
Calavrias's departure ends a 42-year career in the steel industry. The Board has begun looking for a replacement and expects a handover by the end of April next year.
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