Earnings Situation within the Group
In the first half of 2013, the performance of the Salzgitter Group was largely determined by the structural crisis in the European steel industry. Severe competition resulting from the ongoing capacity underutilization of numerous producers in southern Europe pushed the selling prices achievable for most rolled steel products below the manufacturing costs. The sectional steel products processed by the construction industry were the hardest hit. Against this backdrop, the Steel Division reported a high loss owing primarily to impairment of the assets of Peiner Träger GmbH (PTG). This impairment had become necessary due to the persistently unsatisfactory earnings outlook of the section business. Additional profit burdens emanated from the dramatic lack of orders in the Tubes Division's large-diameter pipes business.
Consolidated external sales fell by 7 % to € 4,977.3 million (first half of 2012: € 5,378.5 million), which was mainly attributable to the unfavorable selling price trend for rolled steel products. The pre-tax result of € –298.7 million (first half of 2012: € –17.9 million) comprises impairment of € 185.0 million on the assets of PTG, as well as € 54.2 million in negative after-tax contribution by the 25 % holding in Aurubis AG, a participation included at equity (first half of 2012: € +34.6 million). The after-tax result stood at € –315.2 million (first half of 2012: € –22.5 million), which brings basic earnings per share to € –5.87 (first half of 2012: € –0.46) and return on capital employed to –13.3 % (first half of 2012: 0.4 %).