Swiss Steel Group rebounded with significantly improved results in 2021
by David Fleschen
Sales volume increased by 21 % from 1,535 to 1,863 kilotons in 2021 despite a softening of demand from the automotive industry in the last quarter. Revenue for the full-year 2021 rose strongly by 40 % from EUR 2,288.4 million to EUR 3,192.8 million supported by higher raw material prices. Adjusted EBITDA in 2021 came in at EUR 191.6 million versus EUR – 68.9 million in 2020. Net debt increased year over year from EUR 639.9 million to EUR 720.5 million largely due to the ongoing high raw material prices and the sharp rise in energy prices. This was only partly outweighed by the capital increase in Q1 2021 of EUR 223.5 million. Outlook for 2022: Swiss Steel Group is despite the burden of the unforeseen accident in Ugine cautiously optimistic to affirm the rebound seen in 2021 and expects an adjusted EBITDA between EUR 160 and 200 million. It assumes immaterial disruption due to current geopolitical instability.
CEO Frank Koch: “We are pleased to report a strong rebound of activity and profitability in 2021. After a difficult prior year that saw a massive COVID-19 related drop in demand, we were able to come back and post significantly better results. Sales began to normalize in the first quarter of 2021, primarily driven by a recovery from the automotive industry. Mechanical and plant engineering followed in the subsequent quarter whilst prices overall increased steadily. At the end of the third quarter we saw a sharp and sudden drop in demand from the automotive industry due to the global semiconductor shortage and at the same time turbulences in the energy sector resulting in extremely high and volatile pricings. We responded with an immediate adaptation of our production. With the support of a continuous positive price and margin development, we were still able to announce solid results for the last quarter and the full year.
I am also pleased that we have strengthened our Executive Board with three experienced steel managers in December 2021 who will support and steer our growth strategy in our core products – engineering, tool and stainless steel, our operational excellence and lead the path to carbon-neutral steelmaking. We are in an excellent position to lead the green transition with our electric arc furnace technology. Circular economy and recycling is part of our DNA. It is our way to differentiate ourselves with technological excellence and customer focus that will foster Swiss Steel Group’s success in the coming years.
On the other hand, we are also facing challenges. Unfortunately, at the beginning of the year we had a tragic accident at our Ugine plant. As a result, our melting and casting operations are currently not in operation and only planned to restart at the end of the second quarter 2022. The rolling mill and further downstream activities have shortly thereafter resumed normal production, though limited in capacity to available material.”
Source: Swiss Steel Group, Photo: Fotolia