Weak demand, rising iron ore, and falling rolled steel, prices affected Salzgitter Group’s financial performance in 2019.
However, the company anticipates rebounding in 2020, COVID-19’s impact on European businesses notwithstanding. In its outlook for the year, Salzgitter reported it would increase its steel sales by €9mn ($10.05mn) and break even, compared to a €253.3mn before-tax loss in 2019.
Last year, the group’s crude steel production fell to 6,613kt (6.61mn mt) from 7,039kt in 2018, while its external sales decreased by 8pc to €8.5bn compared with €9.2bn in 2018.
Broken up by business segment, the company’s strip steel production decreased to 4,321kt (4.3mn mt) in 2019 from 4,645kt in 2018 for crude steel, and to 3,566kt from 3,643kt during the same comparable period for rolled steel. The latter’s production volume suffered after a blast furnace at Salzgitter’s integrated steel works was shut down because of sluggish demand. The company’s sales volume for strip steel also decreased to 4,413kt in 2019 from 4,551kt in 2018.
Plate and section steel production and sales volumes also declined last year, with crude steel production falling to 1,033kt from 1,077kt in 2018. Rolled steel output decreased from 2,273kt in 2018 to 1,891kt in 2019. The segment’s sales volume decreased to 1,949kt in 2019 from 2,244kt in 2018.
Sales volumes at the company’s Mannesmann business unit, which specializes in steel tubes, decreased from 625kt in 2018 to 546kt in 2019.
The steelmaker reported a net loss of €237mn in 2019 compared with a profit of €278mn in 2018, mainly due to extenuating restructuring costs. The company’s revenue also decreased to €354mn in 2019 from €797mn in 2018.
(€1 = $1.12)