Acerinox anticipates performance recovery in 2021

Acerinox projects production and net sales to improve in 2021, says company president Rafael Miranda. He was speaking during a conference ahead of the Spanish stainless steel producer’s annual general meeting held on 15 April, Kallanish reports.

“We see light at the end of the tunnel,” Miranda says. “We believe 2021 will be a year of recovery for the company and the first-quarter results show that. Now we have three-month visibility in the order books which we did not have in the last four years.”

The steelmaker’s Q1 production grew by 8% on-year due to the 80% increase in order books during the period. The company estimates that its special alloys subsidiary, VDM, will report 20% of the group’s Ebitda in the coming years.

The steel sector is awaiting the reopening of main markets after the second wave of Covid-19 and recovery in consumption. The situation, however, could result in further inflation.

Acerinox does not expect big changes at its North American unit, which represents almost 45% of the group’s total business, under the new US President Joe Biden administration.

Miranda says the US economy is recovering faster thanks to huge stimuli, including a recently agreed infrastructure plan. Acerinox “will surely be present”, he says of the expected US activity. The only negative effect could be the announced rise in corporation tax, he adds.

“We have done well with both democrats and republicans because they are all pro-industry,” Acerinox executive director Bernardo Velázquez comments. “We believe that President Biden is not going to distance himself much from what Donald Trump has done and will maintain tariffs of 25% on steel imports, a situation that benefits our North American unit.”

Acerinox is mulling requesting support from EU funds for a total of five projects focused on digitisation, hydrogen and renewables use at its Spanish production unit. The company has presented these projects to the Spanish government call for interest.

Todor Kirkov Bulgaria