Financial year 2021

21.03.2022 | Press release of Salzgitter AG


Salzgitter Group delivers the best pre-tax result in 13 years

  • Pre-tax profit of € 706 million
  • Strip Steel and Trading business units as the main drivers of the positive development
  • Outlook for the financial year 2022: sales of just under €11 billion and a pre-tax profit of between € 600 million and € 750 million

In the financial year 2021, the Salzgitter Group generated a pre-tax profit of € 705.7 million, delivering its best result in 13 years. Thanks to the dynamic uptrend in steel prices, the Strip Steel and Trading business units in particular made major contributions to the substantial profit improvement. Furthermore, the sections business reported an outstanding result despite the massive increase in energy prices, while the Technology Business Unit also significantly lifted its pre-tax profit. A counter trend emanated from impairment totaling € 243.3 million applied principally in the Mannesmann Business Unit. These non-recurrent write-downs in the balance sheet will ease the burden on future results.

The Salzgitter Group’s external sales rose to € 9,767.4 million (2020: € 7,090.8 million) on the back of higher shipment volumes compared with the previous year, as well as due to the significant improvement in the average selling prices of most rolled steel products. Earnings before taxes of € 705.7 million (2020: € –196.4 million) include a contribution of € 217.1 million from the participating investment in Aurubis AG accounted for using the equity method (2020: € 104.0 million) as well as € 6.7 million in net income from restructuring provisions (2020: € 18.9 million). An after-tax profit that stands at € 586.1 million (2020: € –273.9 million) brings earnings per share to € 10.74 (2020: € –5.13) and return on capital employed to 16.2 % (ROCE; 2020: –3.9 %). With an equity ratio of 32.7 % (2020: 32.5 %), the Group’s balance sheet remains sound. The Executive Board and the Supervisory Board of Salzgitter AG will submit a proposal to the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on June 2, 2022 to distribute dividend of € 0.75 per share, which is the highest since 2008.

Gunnar Groebler, Salzgitter AG's Chief Executive Officer, comments as follows:

“After two rather more challenging years for our company, we delivered an excellent result with a pre-tax profit of € 706 million in 2021. This is not only this pleasing, it also strengthens the financial foundation we need to successfully master the imminent transformation into a market leader for circular economy solutions and a pioneer of low CO2 steel production in Europe. Our “Salzgitter AG 2030” strategy underpins these ambitions with an agenda that will guide our actions in the years to come. Our SALCOS® program is a linchpin in these activities, under which we will replace the necessary carbon required by steel production initially by natural gas and then through gradually switching to hydrogen. We intend to have SALCOS® investment-ready by the summer of 2022 so as to be able to produce crude steel through hydrogen-based direct production at our Salzgitter site as from the end of 2025. We aim to have the program fully implemented by 2033. Over the past weeks, the first cooperations were initiated with various companies that are prepared to join us in breathing life into our “Partnering for Transformation” mission.”

CFO Burkhard Becker adds:

We have now cast our ambitions into concrete figures and translated them into a score card that we will use to measure our progress in achieving the newly defined financial and non-financial KPIs as part of the “Salzgitter AG 2030” strategy. Our target of achieving a regular EBITDA margin of between 8 % and 10 % as from 2025 means nothing less than perpetuating the results of exceptional years, such as the last one.

Outlook

In view of the decidedly encouraging start to the year and the sustained, strong profit trend, above all in the strip steel business, we anticipate the following for the Salzgitter Group in the financial year 2022:

  • an increase in sales to just under € 11 billion,
  • a pre-tax profit of between € 600 million and € 750 million, and
  • a return on capital employed (ROCE) that is around the previous year's level.

We consider it rather more unlikely that the pandemic will cause another plunge in the economy. Russia’s attack on Ukraine and the consequences could nevertheless cause an abrupt slowdown in economic recovery and thereby impact our Group companies as well. Another inherent danger consists of the already very high energy costs rising again. Given this scenario, virtually unquantifiable forecast risks exist at present.

The complete report released on the results of the financial year 2021 can be viewed at:
https://www.salzgitter-ag.com/de/investor-relations/news-publikationen.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 business units’ 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.