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Klöckner & Co delivers further growth in operating income in fiscal 2018

Steel News - Published on Wed, 13 Mar 2019

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Klöckner & Co’s sales went up 7.9% to EUR 6.8 billion in fiscal year 2018, largely on account of the higher price level. Operating income (EBITDA) improved by 3.4% to EUR 227 million. Aside from the positive trend in prices over much of the year, this increase was primarily a result of optimization measures. Net income was EUR 69 million, compared with a prior-year figure of EUR 102 million boosted by one-off tax effects. Earnings per share consequently stood at EUR 0.68 (2017: EUR 1.01). In light of this, the Management Board and the Supervisory Board consider it appropriate to hold the dividend constant with the prior year at EUR 0.30 per share, as is to be proposed at the Annual General Meeting on May 15.

Klöckner & Co’s digitalization drive has gained further momentum. The proportion of sales generated through digital channels grew at an increasing rate to most recently 25% in the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q4 2017: 17%). In addition to further driving ahead the digitalization of the Klöckner & Co Group, kloeckner.i, the digital unit in Berlin, now with some 90 employees – has from the beginning of this year started providing consulting services for selected external business clients.

XOM Materials, the independent industry platform launched by Klöckner & Co, likewise grew rapidly after going live in Europe in February 2018. Around 50 employees now work for the company at five locations. The platform is set to launch in the USA within the first half of 2019. A first financing round with external investors is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Mr Gisbert Rühl CEO of Klöckner & Co SE said that “In XOM Materials, we have realized our vision for the future of steel distribution. The platform – which is open to everyone in the market – will gradually unravel the traditional steel industry value chain and replace it with a digital network. It also ensures a continuous flow of information, which improves transparency for better demand planning and enhanced capacity utilization. In the future, it will additionally give customers a single point of access to a huge portfolio of steel products and other materials from a range of vendors.”

For its key markets of Europe and the USA, Klöckner & Co mostly expects to see slight growth in real steel demand and corresponding growth in Group shipments for 2019. Sales, on the other hand, are anticipated to rise sharply on the back of investment made in expansion and an expected higher overall steel price level than in the preceding year.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 13 Mar 2019
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