Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft

  • WKN: 620200
  • ISIN: DE0006202005
  • Land: Deutschland

Nachricht vom 15.03.2021 | 11:00

Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft: Financial Year 2020: By no means a lost year!

DGAP-News: Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft / Key word(s): Annual Report/Sustainability
15.03.2021 / 11:00
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

- Decarbonization offensive expedited
- Strategic investment projects systematically pursued
- Financial year 2021: pre-tax profit envisaged between € 150 million and € 200 million

The Salzgitter Group delivered a pre-tax result of € -196.4 million in the financial year 2020 that was determined by the Corona pandemic and its severe disruption to society and the economy at large. Following a plunge in order intake caused by economic restrictions imposed on a global scale in the second quarter, we responded swiftly and resolutely with counteracting measures to secure earnings and liquidity. After a period of stabilization over the summer, the Strip Steel Business Unit showed the first strong signs of recovery in the final quarter that have held steady since then.

The Group's external sales declined to € 7,090.8 million due above all to the drop in average selling prices for rolled steel products and lower shipment volumes (2019: € 8,547.3 million). The pre-tax result came in at € -196.4 million thanks to rigorous crisis management and the recent uptrend in performance, particularly in the Strip Steel, Trading and Technology business units, that exceeds the previous year's level (€ -253.3 million). The result also includes
€ 18.9 million in net income from restructuring provisions (2019: € -56.1 million) and a very gratifying contribution of € 104.0 million from the participating investment in Aurubis AG accounted for using the equity method (2019: € 99.5 million, including € 27.8 million in income from an accounting adjustment in connection with the acquisition of shares). Earnings after taxes of € -273.9 million (2019: € -237.3 million) comprise € 71.0 million in additional tax expenses for capital gains tax to be paid in connection with the ruling of the Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof) issued on structured securities lending in 2016. Salzgitter AG has lodged an appeal against this repayment. Earnings per share dropped to € -5.13 (2019: € -4.46), return on capital employed (ROCE) improved compared with the previous year's figure but remained in negative territory (-3.9 %; 2019: -5.8 %). Against this backdrop, we will not be paying any dividend for the past financial year. With signs of a significant improvement in the financial situation in the current year, we expect to be able to resume dividend distribution again in 2022.

With an equity ratio of 32.5 % (2019/12/31: 34.1 %), Salzgitter AG's balance sheet remains sound. In addition, the hidden reserves not evident from the balance sheet from the acquisition of our participating investment in Aurubis AG and the CO2 allowances purchased as a precautionary measure for the fourth period of the EU greenhouse gas emission trading scheme that commenced on January 1, 2021 meanwhile range in the upper triple-digit million euro range.

Chief Executive Officer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann on the financial year 2020:

"The year 2020 presented us all with an exceptional situation: With the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, also in Europe, daily life as we knew it changed overnight. In the face of all these challenges, this exceptional year has made two things patently clear: Firstly, our corporate strategy geared to the long term and to a well-balanced portfolio has proven its worth again. And secondly, our corporate culture that is infused with identification, motivation and discipline works. This is evident in the swift implementation of a slew of highly diverse urgent measures upon the outbreak of the pandemic in Group companies across the globe, while keeping operations up and running. This was only possible thanks to the exceptional dedication of our employees, also under additional burdens and pressure. Despite the huge challenges, we were therefore able to sustain our company's liquidity without injections of external capital, continue our work on the two strategically important major projects - the third hot dip galvanizing in Salzgitter and the new heat treatment line in Ilsenburg - and push ahead with our decarbonization offensive through implementing the "Wind Hydrogen Salzgitter", "Green Industrial Hydrogen 2.0" and "Green Strip Steel" projects. The financial year 2020 was therefore not a lost year for the Salzgitter Group. Quite the opposite! For us it is a source of confidence and assurance of being able to master the tasks that lie ahead."

Outlook

With explicit reference to the still imminent, virtually unquantifiable risk of the Corona pandemic, we generally anticipate the following for the Salzgitter- Group in the financial year 2021:

- an increase in sales to more than € 8.5 billion,

- a pre-tax profit of between € 150 million and € 200 million, and

- a return on capital employed (ROCE) that is tangibly above the previous year's figure.

Decarbonization

We are stepping up to the challenging goals of the European emission trading system to reduce CO2 with our SALCOS(R) (SAlzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) concept. This concept covers the implementation of all technical measures required by a significant and gradual reduction of the CO2 emissions in steel production at the Salzgitter site, while harnessing existing production facilities to the greatest extent possible. For the integrated steel production we are targeting reductions in CO2 emissions of 30 % by 2030 and of 95 % by 2050. Within the context of this concept, Salzgitter AG initiated the "Wind Hydrogen" and the "GrInHy / GrInHy2.0" (= Green Industrial Hydrogen) projects.

Last week, we commissioned "Wind Hydrogen Salzgitter - WindH2", Germany's only cross-sector project that will in future produce green hydrogen with electricity from wind power. Consequently, we have taken an important and exemplary step on the path to decarbonizing the steel industry. In addition, Salzgitter AG has been working together with its partners since 2016 on the EU "GrInHy" research projects to find new ways of generating hydrogen efficiently.

In an initial step, Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH (SZFG) will use "green hydrogen" for its annealing process, thereby replacing hydrogen produced from natural gas. At a later stage, the direct reduced iron (DRI) plant scheduled to go on line in the first half of 2022 is also to be supplied. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze gave us the funding approval for the construction of these facilities at the start of December 2020. The new plant represents another milestone on the course to realizing SALCOS(R). Further knowledge will be gained from the operations, the aim being to enable the production of efficient and low CO2 directly reduced iron on a large scale in a few years' time.

Low CO2 green steel slabs have been produced in our Peine mini mill since the end of 2020 for subsequent processing by SZFG into hot and cold strip in a defined range of various dimensions and grades. These steel grades have met with strong interest from customers operating in a range of different sectors. As Europe's first steel producer, Salzgitter AG has obtained two conformity statements certified in line with TÜV SÜD's VERIsteel process. The process provides proof of product-specific CO2 emissions in steel production and flanks the process of decarbonization. As a result, the CO2 footprint of slabs is to be reduced by more than 75 %.


The following links provide further information:

Annual Report 2020 ( https://www.salzgitter-ag.com/en/investor-relations/news-and-publications/reports.html.
Non-Financial Report on the Group ( https://www.salzgitter-ag.com/en/corporate-responsibility.html
SALCOS(R):

GrInHy:
( https:// www.salcos.salzgitter-ag.com/

( https:// www.green-industrial-hydrogen.com /




Contact:
Markus Heidler

Head of Investor Relations

Salzgitter AG
Eisenhüttenstraße 99
38239 Salzgitter

Phone +49 5341 21-6105
Fax +49 5341 21-2570
E-Mail ir@salzgitter-ag.de


15.03.2021 Dissemination of a Corporate News, transmitted by DGAP - a service of EQS Group AG.
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

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