May 10, 2019 / 8:40 AM / 4 months ago

Losses widen at Sanjeev Gupta’s Australian steelworks in 2018 - filing

LONDON, May 10 (Reuters) - Losses climbed at Sanjeev Gupta’s privately owned Whyalla iron ore mine and steel maker in Australia in the year to June 2018 due to a tax charge and rising costs at the plant which the British metals tycoon wants to expand.

Indian-born Gupta has said he aims to turn the Whyalla facilities, a major employer in Australia, into one of the world’s biggest steel plants.

The government has said it would consider financially supporting the plans for the plant, which Australian media have said employs about 2,500 people.

Accounts of OneSteel Manufacturing Pty Ltd, which operates Whyalla, the only maker of structural steel and rails in Australia, showed losses rose to A$195.3 million ($136.7 million) in the 12 months to June 30, 2018 from A$120.6 million a year earlier.

The accounts, lodged with the Australian corporate register on April 26 and published shortly afterwards, showed revenues were flat at A$1.8 billion in the period.

Gupta told Reuters in February the performance of the primary steel business overall had started to turn around, and that the iron ore division was “making a lot of money”.

Gupta’s GFG Alliance bought the primary steel business and steel recycling and distribution operations in 2017 after its former owner, Arrium, went into administration partly due to losses at its primary steel division.

Gupta has said he was mulling a stock market flotation of some Australian assets. A source told Reuters earlier this year that Gupta’s focus was on floating the recycling business not the primary steel operations.

($1 = 1.4288 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Tom Bergin Editing by Edmund Blair

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