Trading Division

Q1 2011 Q1 2010
Shipments kt 942.6 1,067.3
Sales1) € million 801.7 697.6
External Sales € million 782.3 657.7
Earnings before tax (EBT) € million 23.3 4.0
1) Incl. sales to other corporate divisions
Alongside a well-developed organization of stockholding steel trading subsidiaries in Europe, the Trading Division comprises two steel service center companies (SSC), one specialized in flat steel products and one in plate, and operates a globalized international trading network. Along with the rolled steel and tubes products of the Salzgitter Group, the division also sells the products of other manufacturers in Germany and abroad and procures semi-finished products for the Group and external customers on the international markets.

The favorable economic environment in the first quarter enabled the steel processing industries to get off to good start to the year. Higher order intake by the mechanical engineering sector and, to a lesser extent, by the construction industry formed a broad basis for the upswing in demand for steel which, however, varied widely: economic growth in the emerging markets, for instance, above all in the Asian countries, remained at aboveaverage high levels as opposed to the industrial nations where growth momentum was moderate. As a result of hikes in the spot market prices of steel products European stockholding steel trading succeeded in commanding significantly better margins.

The Trading Division benefited from the economic environment, which is clearly reflected by its performance and above all by its overall result. Segment and external sales outperformed the previous year’s figures. Boosted first and foremost by greater volumes and the sharp widening of margins of the European stockholding trade, the first quarter of 2011 was brought to a close with an extremely gratifying pre-tax profit of € 23.3 million which therefore significantly outstripped the year-earlier figure.

Trading-Sales (in € million)

Trading-Sales (in € million)

Trading-EBT (in € million)

Trading-EBT (in € million)
Following on from 2010, the Salzgitter Mannesmann Handel Group continued to perform well in the first three months of 2011. Although the sum total of shipment volumes did not match levels posted a year ago due to the still not yet satisfactory situation of international trading, the substantial increase in sales and margins resulted in a pre-tax profit that was almost four times as high.

The development of the European stockholding steel companies was, however, disparate: Sales in Germany and Poland grew whereas market requirements in the Netherlands and the Czech Republic remained modest. The windfall effects lifted the gross earnings of almost all companies in comparison with a year ago. All in all, the pre-tax profit of the stockholding steel trade was appreciably higher than the year-earlier figure.

The activities in Africa and Europe in particular stimulated the activities of the international trading. Hot-rolled flat products made up a significant proportion of the steel trading volume of Salzgitter Mannesmann International GmbH (SMID), the German trading subsidiary, in the first quarter. Shipments were lower than a year ago mainly due to large-volume international project business lagging expectations. Against the background of climbing prices, however, there was a relatively small decline in sales. All in all, the Trading Division generated a better pre-tax profit in a year-on-year comparison.

Universal Eisen und Stahl GmbH (UES), a company operating in the plate market, began the current year with brisker order activities accompanied by rising selling prices. Alongside good capacity utilization in many customer sectors, consumers also boosted business by taking the precaution of buying up material in anticipation of prices rising further. Moreover, UES improved its product range. As a result, shipments and sales were higher. The gratifying profit held steady from the previous quarter and another pre-tax profit was achieved in the first three months of 2011.

The steel service center Hövelmann & Lueg GmbH (HLG) recorded an increase in business activity in the first three months of the current year. The general processing capacities on offer to the market are nonetheless still not being fully utilized. Shipments and sales were therefore higher year on year, whereas the pre-tax result remained at the level of the year-earlier period due to insufficient margins.
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