Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft

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

Nachricht vom 12.08.2020 | 07:30

Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft: Salzgitter Group with lower sales and result due to downturn in demand caused by the Corona pandemic

DGAP-News: Salzgitter Aktiengesellschaft / Key word(s): Half Year Results
12.08.2020 / 07:30
The issuer is solely responsible for the content of this announcement.

- Sales decline by one fifth to € 3.6 billion, above all on the back of lower shipments
- Pre-tax result of € -128 million; cost cutting measures and liquidity management as well as the earnings contribution from Aurubis AG cushion the impact of the crisis
- SALCOS
(R) feasibility study for direct iron ore reduction in Wilhelmshaven agreed - another concrete step on the course to low CO2 hydrogen-based steel production

In line with expectations, the Salzgitter Group took a significantly greater hit from the economic impact of the Corona pandemic in the second quarter of 2020 than in the first three months of the year. The slump in demand from the automotive industry in particular placed a burden on our company, while the construction sector proved to be stable. Accordingly, compared with 2019, the Group's subsidiaries reported capacity utilization that had dropped between 10 and 70 %. Moreover, the - even before the current crisis - excessively generous import quotas for duty-free steel imports into the European Union provided no protection whatsoever, as the percentage share of these imports was even higher in the second quarter due to slack demand for steel in the EU.

Against this backdrop, the Salzgitter Group's external sales were down by 20 % in the first half of 2020 compared with the year-earlier period (€ 3,631.0 million; H1 2019: € 4,526.2 million), which was due in particular to lower volumes. The pre-tax result came in at € -127.8 million (H1 2019: € 145.3 million), essentially reflecting the decline in capacity utilization in the second quarter, and the resulting lower earnings contributions of all business units. A counter effect emanated from rigorous measures introduced at an early stage to reduce costs and secure liquidity, along with a contribution of € 34.0 million from Aurubis AG, an investment accounted for using the equity method (H1 2019: € 56.4 million). An after-tax result that stands at € -144.7 million (H1 2019: € 96.4 million) brings earnings per share to € -2.70 (H1 2019: € 1.73) and return on capital employed to -6.3 % (H1 2019: 7.9 %). With an equity ratio of 34.4 %, the Salzgitter Group's balance sheet continues to be sound.

Chief Executive Officer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann elaborates on the current situation: "The Corona crisis has made recent months surely some of the most challenging in our company's history. In times such as these, we take our guidance from the principles of proportionality and weighing up the benefits between the best possible protection of our employees' health and safeguarding our company's ability to operate. We have therefore taken extensive, risk-mitigating precautions at short notice and created transparency regarding the occurrence of infections throughout the entire Group. We are similarly focusing on managing the economic impact of the pandemic. Securing the Group's liquidity takes the utmost priority. The key financials of the first half of 2020 prove that we have been successful in our weighing up of interests. The impact of the pandemic on our business has been cushioned, not least thanks to our strategy that is aligned to a diversified corporate portfolio. Though mastering the challenges presented by Corona is naturally the focus of our activities at present, we are keeping our sights firmly fixed on securing the medium- and long-term future of the Salzgitter Group. With the feasibility study of direct iron ore production at the Wilhelmshaven site agreed in June, we have taken another concrete step in our transformation process toward low CO2, hydrogen-based steel production based on our SALCOS(R) (SAlzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) technology concept that has attracted a great deal of attention."

External sales by business unit (EUR million):

  H1 2020 H1 2019
Strip Steel 902.8 1,175.5
Plate / Section Steel 363.2 442.3
Mannesmann 494.5 582.3
Trading 1,229.2 1,578.3
Technology 574.6 656.9
Industrial Participations / Consolidation 66.7 91.0
Group 3,631.0 4,526.2
 

Earnings before taxes (EBT) by business unit (EUR million):

  H1 2020 H1 2019
Strip Steel -69.2 60.3
Plate / Section Steel -27.0 0.6
Mannesmann -22.7 9.0
Trading -15.8 4.1
Technology -10.6 16.1
Industrial Participations / Consolidation 17.4 55.1
Group -127.8 145.3
 

Outlook

We anticipate that the second and third quarter will likely mark the bottoming out of the current crisis. At the same time, the strength and the timescale of a feasible macroeconomic recovery in the second half of the year are subject to great uncertainty. In this volatile environment, the Salzgitter Group's developments cannot be predicted in the usual way, meaning that only a rough estimate is possible.

Against this backdrop, we anticipate the following for the Salzgitter Group in the current financial year 2020:

- a notable reduction in sales,

- a negative pre-tax result in the lower to mid-double-digit million euro range, and

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

The complete report released on the results of the first half of 2020 can be viewed at:
https://www.salzgitter-ag.com/en/investor-relations/news-and-publications.html

Disclaimer: Some of the statements made in this report possess the character of forecasts or may be interpreted as such. These are made to the best of the Company's knowledge and judgment, and by their nature are subject to the proviso that no unforeseeable deterioration occurs in the economy or in the specific market situation pertaining to the division companies, but rather that the underlying bases of plans and outlooks prove to be accurate as expected with regards to their scope and timing. Notwithstanding prevailing statutory provisions and capital market law in particular, the Company accepts no obligation to continuously update any forward-looking statements that are made solely in connection with circumstances prevailing on the day of their publication.

As in recent years, please note that opportunities and risks from currently unforeseeable trends in selling prices, input material prices and capacity level developments, as well as exchange rate fluctuations, may considerably affect performance in the course of the financial year 2020. The resulting fluctuation in the consolidated pre-tax result may be within a considerable range, either to the positive or to the negative. The dimensions of this volatility are illustrated by the following example: With around 12 million tons p.a. of steel products sold by the Strip Steel, Plate / Section Steel, Mannesmann and Trading business units, an average € 25 change in the margin per ton is already sufficient to cause a variation in the annual result of more than € 300 million. Moreover, the accuracy of the company's planning is restricted by the volatile cost of raw materials and shorter contractual durations, on the procurement as well as on the sales side.




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


12.08.2020 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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