The Salzgitter Group’s independence is a success story and without a doubt the right path for our company to follow. Our strategy therefore continues to be geared to optimizing the value of the Group and its companies and to implementing our corporate policy that is anchored in self-determination.
Launched in the autumn of 2016, the “Salzgitter AG 2021” corporate strategy defined the cornerstones of the Group’s further development. The aim was to develop the Group’s de facto sales and value added portfolio with profitable growth from a ratio of around 60% steel-related to 40% less steel-related activities at the point of departure in a way that both parts converge in the direction of balanced, equal proportions.
The following premises applied:
Rolled steel production and parts of the tubes production can only grow qualitatively, not quantitatively.
Quantitative growth is possible exclusively in activities apart from steel – especially in the Technology Business Unit.
External growth on a larger scale is not mandatorily necessary for the development of the business units – can, however, be desirable.
The "Salzgitter AG 2021" strategy was successfully implemented in line with the original schedule and is currently in the follow-up phase.
We are currently developing a new Group strategy. To this end, an extensive analysis of the four main cornerstones is currently underway. We currently expect to present the new Group strategy in spring 2022.
Who and what do we want to be in 2025/2030?
What is the right business portfolio for our strategy?
How do we generate additional efficiency gains across the entire value chain?
Management structures and instruments, organization of the Group, corporate culture
We are taking the rigorous and ongoing improvement of our structures and processes forward with new impetus under the “FitStructure 2.0” optimization program that consists of around 700 measures in total. Once implementation has been completed, we intend to generate more than € 300 million in profit improvement potential.
The further development of the business units is aligned first and foremost to organic growth. Bolstered by investment measures as well as research and development projects, the focus, at least until the introduction of the new group strategy, will be on growth areas that we identified and specified across all business segments as part of the “Salzgitter AG 2021” corporate strategy.
The Strip Steel Business Unit produces, processes and sells strip steel in a range of metallurgical analyses and dimensions. Its most important customers include vehicle manufacturers, their suppliers, standard and large-diameter tubes manufacturers, re-rollers and the construction industry. Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH (SZFG) focuses on quality and special steels and strives for innovation leadership in its target product segments, above all in the fields of “automotive chassis” and “bodywork”, as well as “re-rollers” and “household appliances”. Investments that strengthen the premium segment for automotive customers facilitate the further optimization of the premium product portfolio. This includes the “Hot Dip Galvanizing Line 3” that extends the hot dip galvanizing capacities already available by another 500 ktons, thereby enabling growth in the special steels segment. The line that is due to be taken into operation in the second half of 2022 allows us to produce additional volumes of ultra-high strength steel grades for use in bodywork and chassis that play an important role in automotive lightweight construction and in vehicle security. The configuration of the facilities as a whole offers the structural and technical prerequisites for realizing further innovative materials concepts. We use the affiliated Steel Service Center in the Strip Steel Business Unit to serve the prefabrication requirements of our customers. The two processing companies extend the value chain within the business unit by manufacturing customized products for the automotive and construction industries.
The Plate / Section Steel Business Unit combines three innovative producers of high quality steel products with a rich tradition. These companies primarily serve the construction industry and infrastructure customers. Along with the energy sector, yellow goods and offshore, as well as tank and plant engineering, are important fields of application with growth potential for the heavy plate companies, especially in the high-end grade segment. With the commissioning of a new heat treatment line at the Ilsenburg location, we have created an essential precondition for expanding the product range to include demanding heavy plate grades, such as in the area of high-strength and wear-resistant steels. With its 5.1 meter wide quarto mill, Salzgitter Mannesmann Grobblech GmbH is a specialist for large-diameter pipe grades. The primary objective is to adapt the structures to the high volatility of the business and the market conditions. After the successful implementation of an extensive restructuring program, the Pein-based beam producer continues to focus on consistent cost management and efficiency enhancement in order to safeguard its competitiveness.
The pipe and tube activities of the Salzgitter Group are largely combined under the Mannesmann Business Unit. A substantial part of these activities target infrastructure projects in the energy industry. The portfolio is supplemented by leading suppliers of precision steel tubes in automotive, construction and industrial applications, as well as stainless steel and nickel-based tubes. The companies in the large and medium line pipe segment meet the challenges of the volatile project business by building more flexibility into production and resources and optimizing market development. The EU business of the precision tubes segment concentrates primarily on developing the product portfolio in terms of its quality. As part of the internationalization strategy that targets growth markets such as North America, the Mexican production site was extended. The stainless steel segment with its locations in Germany, France, Italy and the US is reinforcing its market position by expanding its product range. Measures include the acquisition of a French specialist supplier of cold finished seamless stainless steel tubes in the premium segment for the industries of aerospace, power plants as well as oil and gas. Our 50 % EUROPIPE participation intends to strengthen its role as a leading manufacturer of large-diameter pipes through its production sites in Germany and the US.
The global network of the Trading Business Unit is the link between our production companies and the sales and procurement markets. With its well-developed European organization of stockholding steel trading subsidiaries, including heavy plate specialists, and international trading, the Trading Business Unit is an important distribution arm for the Group’s own rolled steel, pipe and tubes products. In addition, the Salzgitter Mannesmann Handel Group supports the Group companies in acquiring project business and feedstock. With the introduction of the “e-World” digital sales platform in 2016, the Trading Business Unit has proven itself a pioneer of Internet-based steel trading. In the future, it will also be focusing on digitalizing customer business as one of its key development areas. We see further opportunities for growth through stepping up our activities in Eastern Europe and expanding our finishing capacities.
Three high-profile manufacturers of special machinery are grouped within the Technology Business Unit. As the business unit’s largest entity, the KHS Group ranks among the world’s three leading suppliers of filling and packaging machinery for the beverage industry. KHS maintains production sites in all the principal markets and has a customer-oriented global service and sales network. The comprehensive “KHS Future” efficiency and growth program was launched at the KHS Group at the start of 2018, with the measures up until that time being perpetuated. Emphasis is placed on reducing costs, expanding the service business and growth in foreign markets. Klöckner Desma Elastomertechnik GmbH and Klöckner Desma Schuhmaschinen GmbH are global market leaders in their respective growth markets. The two companies strive for organic sales growth by offering innovative products and expanding their service business.
The Salzgitter Group's research and development (R&D) philosophy extends well beyond the conventional development of existing products and processes: Innovations are the result of systematically controlled processes. These processes range from trend analysis in clearly defined product and technology clusters, generating ideas and evaluating their strategic and financial significance, intellectual property analysis, the R&D activities themselves and right on through to the actual implementation of the results at an operational level. Customer benefit has been placed at the heart of all activities. A cornerstone of our innovation activities consists of reducing the CO2 emissions of the integrated steel production at the Salzgitter site. Together with the Fraunhofer Institutes and other partners, we are expediting the SALCOS® project (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking). The engineering approach of SALCOS® targets the direct avoidance of CO2 emissions in the production process itself through using hydrogen to gradually replace the carbon necessary for steel production based on iron ore. The unique selling proposition of SALCOS® consists of the innovative combination of the technologies available today and established in the industry that can therefore be implemented quickly from a technical standpoint as soon as the requisite framework conditions for sustainable operation have been set in place by the politicians and society.
The sustainable competitive and innovative capability of the Salzgitter Group is especially dependent on having motivated and well qualified employees. Consequently, forward-looking further training, the systematic fostering of the workforce, and attracting highly qualified junior staff has always held a high strategic priority for us. Our “YOUNITED – Achieving More Together” mission statement reflects our groupwide identity, thereby strengthening the long-term alignment of the Group.
At 31. December 2020