First quarter of 2022
12.05.2022 | Press release of Salzgitter AG
Excellent start to the financial year 2022
- Earnings before taxes (EBT) quadruple to € 465.3 million
- Steel Production and Trading business units as key drivers of the positive development
- SALCOS® - Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking: Supervisory Board on the verge of an investment decision
- Outlook for the financial year 2022: sales of just under € 11 billion and a pre-tax profit of between € 750 million and € 900 million
In the first quarter of 2022, the Salzgitter Group generated a pre-tax profit of € 465.3 million, the highest quarterly operating result in the history of the company. The prices of rolled steel products at a record level sent profit up by leaps and bounds for the Steel Production and Trading business units that were the key drivers behind the gratifying earnings trend in the period under review. The Steel Processing and Technology business units, along with Industrial Participations / Consolidation, also contributed positive results.
The Salzgitter Group’s external sales saw price-induced growth of 60 % to € 3,349.9 million (Q1 2021: € 2,094.1 million). The pre-tax profit quadrupled to € 465.3 million in a year-on-year comparison (Q1 2021: € 117.3 million). This figure includes a contribution of € 61.9 million from the participating investment in Aurubis AG accounted for using the equity method (Q1 2021: € 42.5 million). An aftertax result that stood at € 368.8 million (Q1 2021: € 76.6 million) brings earnings per share to € 6.80 (Q1 2021: € 1.38) and return on capital employed to 35.2 % (ROCE; Q1 2021: 13.2 %). The equity ratio was raised to 37.3 % (Q1 2021: 33.0 %), thereby underscoring the Salzgitter Group’s continued sound balance sheet.
Gunnar Groebler, Salzgitter AG’s Chief Executive Officer, explains: “The excellent start to the new financial year gives us tailwind for the “Salzgitter AG 2030” strategy presented in February. In a few months, we will already be commissioning the new hot dip galvanizing line and the first hydrogen and natural-gas-fueled direct reduction (DRI) plant, which are two groundbreaking investment projects in the Steel Production Business Unit. While the hot dip galvanizing line reinforces our market position as a producer of high quality galvanized sheet, we will gain the necessary knowledge through the DRI plant for producing in DRI plants on industrial scale in just a few years’ time. To this end, we are currently preparing for the imminent investment decision concerning our SALCOS® program at Supervisory Board level in the summer. I am extremely proud of the cooperations, concluded in recent months, with a plant engineering company and with future processors of our green steel. These agreements are testimony to our mutual trust and embue our “Partnering for Transformation” mission with life.”
With a view to the current geopolitical situation, Gunnar Groebler commented as follows: “With the deepest sadness, we have to acknowledge that the war in Ukraine has escalated. We want to play a part by contributing our help wherever we can. Along with financial support, we would like to give the people who have fled the war short and medium-term prospects pending their return to their home country. Upon an initiative launched by Salzgitter AG, the German steel industry plans to offer Ukrainian refugees work and the possibility of further training and qualification. Cities and municipalities are also to participate in this “Steel – Model for Action” initiative.”
“The record profit generated in the first quarter of 2022 is not only a consequence of the current exceptional market situation, but also the result of the rigorously implemented optimization of our Group that has been conducted for years,” says Chief Financial Officer Burkhard Becker commenting on the quarterly figures. "With a look to the remainder of the year 2022, we are optimistic, but are keeping a very close eye on the risks resulting from the current geopolitical situation, especially price and energy supply risks,” Becker says.
Thanks to the strong first-quarter we now 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 (EBT) of between € 750 million and € 900 million, and
- a return on capital employed that is around the previous year's level.
In the context of the above, we have taken commodity and energy costs as well as steel prices at the current level as a basis and assume an ongoing unrestricted availability of natural gas as a precondition for maintaining production. Sustained supply and capacity bottlenecks on the procurement markets, compounded by geopolitical tensions, give rise to uncertainty for the anticipated development. We make explicit reference to the currently virtually unquantifiable forecast risks in connection with the Ukraine war.
The complete report released on the results of the first quarter of 2022 can be viewed at:
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 division 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.