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Salzgitter Group Reports 9 Months Results

Steel News - Published on Fri, 15 Nov 2019

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In an environment characterized by great political uncertainty, compounded by multiple trade conflicts and economic headwind, the Salzgitter Group generated a pre-tax profit of EUR 40.7 million in the first nine months of the financial year 2019. The gradual decline in rolled steel selling prices over the course of the year, accompanied by a temporary sharp increase in the cost of iron ore and a downturn in demand, not only from the automotive sector, burdened the steel producing and processing companies in particular. By contrast, the KHS Group as the largest company of the Technology Business Unit continues to develop very satisfactorily.

The Salzgitter Group’s external sales decreased to EUR 6,637.3 million in the first nine months of the financial year 2019 (9M 2018: EUR 6,931.2 million) due above all to selling prices. Earnings before taxes of EUR 40.7 million (9M 2018: EUR 284.6 million) comprise a risk provision of EUR 141.0 million in connection with the desired mutually agreed and timely end to the investigations conducted on the grounds of suspected cartel arrangements regarding heavy plate and strip steel products, as well as well as the release of EUR 48.8 million in provisions at the Strip Steel and Plate / Section Steel business units. The result also includes a contribution of EUR 78.1 million from the participating investment in Aurubis AG accounted for using the equity method (9M 2018: EUR 29.2 million). The after-tax result stood at EUR –29.8 million (9M 2018: EUR 194.0 million). The high tax rate is attributable in particular to the provision established in the context of an end to the anti-trust investigation proceedings and that is not tax deductible, as well as to the remeasurement of deferred tax assets relating to loss carryforwards. Earnings per share therefore came in at EUR –0.63 (9M 2018: EUR 3.51) and return on capital employed at 2.5 % (9M 2018: 11.6 %). Even after another reduction in the actuarial rate applicable to pension provisions to only 0.75 %, the company continues to enjoy an extremely sound financial basis, with an equity ratio of 33 %.

Outlook - We affirm our earnings forecast for the financial year 2019, adjusted on September 26. Against the backdrop of restructuring expenses still to be determined for the implementation of the “FitStructure 2.0” profit improvement program, we anticipate for the Salzgitter Group a pr-tax loss in the mid-double-digit million euro range, lower external sales of under EUR 9.0 billion compared with the previous year, a return on capital employed (ROCE) that is tangibly below the year-earlier figure. We make reference to the fact that criteria of the annual financial statements and imponderables, including changes in the cost of raw materials, precious metal prices and exchange rates, may still have a considerable impact on the end of the financial year 2019.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 15 Nov 2019
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