Beltrame confident about MBQ leadership in challenging market

Beltrame, the largest European merchant bar quality (MBQ) bar producer, still sees a challenging 2020 ahead due to the “repercussions of the pandemic emergency,” but remains confident about maintaining its market leadership..

“Having gone through a crisis in the past, not without sacrifices but successfully, has taught us to protect our people as much as possible while continuing to create value,” said company President Antonio Beltrame.

Last year was characterized by three quarters of positive dynamics with extreme volatility in the fourth quarter during which the company confirmed the strength of its brand of products and services, Beltrame said.

Beltrame Group sales volumes in 2019 were in line with 2018 at over 2 million metric tons. The company last year posted net revenues down by 11.3% year on year to Eur1.1 billion and adjusted EBITDA of Eur74 million against Eur113.7 million in 2018.

Sales of merchant bars, the core business of the company, were in line with the previous year, despite recording a drop in profitability to Eur57.2 million compared to the Eur81 million registered in 2018. Sales volumes benefited from greater proximity to customers thanks to the production alignment created in Italian and French factories, according to the steelmaker.

There was a 3.5% increase in construction steel sales volume from Beltrame’s Swiss mill in Geralfingen, which saw reduced margins due to the reduction in commercial margins of the sector and energy costs. Profitability stood at Eur16.1 million (adjusted EBITDA), down from Eur24.3 million in 2018.

The crisis in the automotive sector impacted Beltrame’s special bar quality (SBQ) bar business at its Romanian mill in Calarasi, which recorded shipping volumes of 109,000 mt and sales revenues of Eur78.3 million, down from Eur102.6 million in 2018.

— Annalisa Villa