First nine months of 2023
13.11.2023 | Press release of Salzgitter AG
Salzgitter AG generates presentable nine-month result despite economic headwind
- Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of € 576 million
- Rigorous implementation of the "Salzgitter AG 2030" strategy progressing
- Orders placed for all primary facility components for the first stage of SALCOS®
- Additional partnering agreements signed
- Guidance for the financial year 2023 affirmed
In the first nine months of the financial year, the Salzgitter Group generated a presentable result in an environment characterized by increasing economic challenges. This trend was mainly driven by the still satisfactory results of the Steel Production and Steel Processing business units in the first half year and the continuously outstanding performance of the Technology Business Unit. Compared with year-end 2022, the Salzgitter Group’s net financial debt decreased by more than € 150 million despite the high level of investment. This achievement once more demonstrates the Salzgitter Group’s robust balance sheet and sound financial position.
The Salzgitter Group’s external sales dropped to € 8.4 billion (9M 2022: € 9.8 billion) due to a downturn in shipment volumes and the lower average selling prices of many rolled steel products compared with the year-earlier period. EBITDA of € 576.0 million (9M 2022: € 1,396.8 million) and earnings before taxes of € 254.3 million (9M 2022: € 1,145.3 million) were generated. The result includes a contribution of € 20.0 million from the participating investment in Aurubis AG accounted for using the (IFRS) equity method (9M 2022: € 115.7 million). The after-tax result came in at € 193.7 million (9M 2022: € 945.8 million), which brings basic earnings per share to € 3.51 (9M 2022: € 17.40). Return on capital employed (ROCE) amounted to 6.5 % (9M 2022: 22.9 %). The equity ratio remained virtually stable at 44.9 % (9M 2022: 45.2 %). Net debt declined by around € 400 million year on year (€ – 400.8 million; 9M 2022: € – 802.4 million).
“The economic situation in many of our key markets is currently challenging. In particular, the recessionary tendencies in our home market of Germany placed a burden on earnings strength, especially in the summer quarter. Inasmuch, the result in the first nine months of the financial year 2023 is indeed presentable although discernibly below the exceptional year of 2022. In the past months, we have continued to vigorously pursue our internal efficiency measures. Our “Performance 2026” program of measures is meanwhile aimed at delivering a planned overall effect of more than € 200 million. We are adhering to our recent earnings guidance, while the reduction of our working capital, and therefore also of our net financial debt, is progressing, as planned.”
“Over the past nine months the Salzgitter Group has delivered a sound performance in a decidedly challenging environment. In these times of economic and political turbulence, we continue to work full steam ahead on rapidly implementing our SALCOS® decarbonization program. The untiring dedication of our employees and the support of many partners will enable us to produce green steel at the Salzgitter location as from 2026. To secure and accelerate the transformation of our company, we nevertheless require a clear commitment from policy makers on Germany as a business location and on a resilient primary industry. Green lead markets along with competitive electricity prices are important cornerstones of this. The German government’s agreement reached at the end of last week to lower Germany’s electricity tax serves as a demonstration of the political will to back the reduction in electricity prices in Germany so urgently required. It is worth noting, however, that the solution essentially affirms the current status quo for the energy-intensive industry. We are unable to detect substantial safeguarding for the industry that currently finds itself not only in global competition but also right in the middle of capital-intensive transformation. More effort is needed here!”
Against the backdrop of the sustained weak development of the German economy and the extremely volatile political and economic environment we anticipate the following for the Salzgitter Group in the financial year 2023:
- sales of around € 11 billion,
- EBITDA of between € 650 million and € 700 million,
- a pre-tax profit of between € 200 million and € 250 million, and
- a return on capital employed (ROCE) notably below the previous year's level.
We make reference to the fact that criteria of the annual financial statements and imponderables, including changes in the cost of raw materials, precious metal prices and exchange rates, may still exert a considerable influence on the end of the financial year. The resulting impact on performance may be within a substantial range, either to the positive or to the negative.
The complete report released on the results of the first nine months of 2023 can be viewed at:
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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.