Highlights of the Financial Year 2007
Salzgitter AG publishes its key figures for the financial year 2006: The global market for rolled steel and tubes was still extremely robust in the year 2006. Favored by these conditions, the Group achieved new all-time highs in its business volume and profit. In the financial year 2006, sales stood at € 8,447 million, which exceeded the previous year’s figure (€ 7,152 million) by 18%. Earnings before tax of € 1,855 million again considerably outperformed the exceptionally good 2005 result (€ 941 million). Similarly, operating pre-tax profit, excluding the proceeds from the sale of the Vallourec participation (€ 907 million), came to € 948 million, up on the previous year’s figure of € 803 million.
In a joint press conference together with Dr. Wolfgang Leese, Chief Executive Officer of Salzgitter AG, Christian Wulff, Minister President of Lower Saxony, declared that the Federal State intends to hold its 25.2% participation in Salzgitter AG up until at least 2013.
Salzgitter AG publishes its Annual Report 2006 and presents it to the financial press at its annual financial statements press conference. In the two days following the press conference, communication with the financial community was brisk, in particular in well-attended analyst conferences in Frankfurt and London.
Salzgitter AG intends to reinforce its position as a supplier of high-caliber products with competitive advantages in costs structures, productivity, flexibility and customer loyalty. To this end, the investment program “Salzgitter Steel 2012” was launched with a projected volume of € 1.4 billion as a decisive step to promote internal growth. The program bolsters the overriding aim of the Group: The preservation of its entrepreneurial independence through profitability and growth.
Change in the chairman of Supervisory Board of Salzgitter AG: After eight successful years and at the end of his period of office, Dr. Wilfried Lochte hands over the chairmanship to Rainer Thieme.
Salzgitter AG continues to benefit from lively demand for steel and tubes products. In the first quarter, the Group presents new benchmarks. Consolidated sales soared 20% to € 2.38 billion in the first three months (first quarter of 2006: € 1.98 billion). Pre-tax profit of € 325.4 million, generated fully from operations, once again significantly exceeded the all-time high for a quarter (in the fourth quarter of financial year 2006: € 286.3 million). After-tax profit came to € 196.6 million (first quarter 2006: € 35.7 million).
The General Meeting of Shareholders of Salzgitter AG ratifies the proposal of the Executive and Supervisory Boards and approves a dividend of € 1 and a special bonus of € 1 per share, thereby doubling overall dividend payout in comparison to the previous year.
Salzgitter AG and Vallourec S.A. sign the final agreements on the takeover of the precision tube manufacturer Vallourec Précision Etirage S.A.S., France. This acquisition makes the Salzgitter Group a leading European supplier in the precision tubes business.
Salzgitter AG takes over another 78% of the shares of Klöckner-Werke AG and, together with its previously acquired 5% participation, now holds 83% of the share capital. Klöckner-Werke AG is a global leader in the construction of beverages filling lines and packaging equipment. The companies of this group form the core of the new “Technology” Division. The investment has meanwhile been raised to approximately 86%.
Stable economic growth makes for an extremely positive environment for the sale of rolled steel and tubes products in the second quarter of 2007 as well. Salzgitter AG exceeded all sales and profit benchmarks set to date for a half-year period. Sales climbed 17% to € 4.72 billion (first half-year of 2006: € 4.03 billion). Pre-tax profit of € 663.6 million, generated fully from operations, delivered an impressive increase over the already extremely high previous year’s figure (€ 437.9 million).
Nord Stream AG and Europipe GmbH, a company jointly held by Salzgitter AG and Dillinger Hütte, signed a contract for the delivery of steel tubes for the construction of the Nord Stream Pipeline. Europipe GmbH will supply around 75% of the tubes (860,000 tons) for the first section of the 1,200 km long pipeline from Wyborg in Russia through to Lubmin in Germany, as well as parts of the second pipeline along the coast of Russia and Germany.
Demand for rolled steel and tubes products continued to run high in the third quarter of 2007. Against this extremely positive economic background, the Salzgitter Group set new record figures in sales and operating profit for a nine-month period. All divisions contributed to lifting sales by € 1.29 billion to € 7.50 billion (9 months 2006: € 6.21 billion). An additional factor was the first-time consolidation of Klöckner-Werke AG, which was acquired at the start of the third quarter, and of Vallourec Précision Etirage S.A.S. Pre-tax profit of € 980.4 million generated by operations outstripped the previous year’s figure by 48 % (€ 661.5 million; excluding € 907 million from the sale of the Vallourec participation).
With its construction of a new Technical Center, which will include the large scale equipment and machinery laboratories of Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH, Salzgitter AG is set to reinforce its position as a premium supplier of steel materials. This institution will form the core of the research company where the most important research and development activities are concentrated. Around € 11 million was invested in a number of large scale machines and equipment and in buildings at the Salzgitter location. The Group now holds a leading position in Europe in application-oriented steel research and development.
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