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Dividend jump for Steel & Tube investors

By Phil Boeyen, ShareChat Business News Editor

Friday 4th August 2000

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Steel & Tube has announced a year-end dividend of seven cents per share, bringing the year's total to 13 cents per share - well ahead of the eight cents total paid in the previous year.

The dividend announcement has been made before the September 8th trading result because the company has shifted to a June balance date, but says it didn't want that decision to disadvantage shareholders who are used to a dividend being paid in August.

STU announced a half-year dividend of six cents late last year along with the result that its half-year profit to the end of November had jumped by more than 70%, to $6.635 million.

Steel & Tube says it has changed its reporting year to bring it into line with its major shareholder, Aussie mega-miner BHP.

BHP is planning to spin off its long products steel division later in the year, which will see more than $2 billion dollars in assets handed over to BHP shareholders, including its 50.1% stake in Steel &Tube.

The new company - OneSteel - is expected to begin trading on the ASX sometime in December. The OneSteel listing is in line with BHP plans to divest itself of billions of dollars of non-core assets.

Steel & Tube CEO, Nick Calvrias, says he sees advantages to the new relationship because both companies have steel as their core business.

The BHP directors who sit on the Steel & Tube board will also be on the OneSteel board. STU Chairman Bob Every is OneSteel's MD and CEO, and STU director Bernard Carrasco is OneSteel's chief financial officer

OneSteel is being touted as a possible potential buyer of Fletcher Building's steel division, although only last year the Commerce Commission declined an attempt by Fletcher Steel Products to acquire Steel & Tube because of fears of market dominance.

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