Bowim improves profitability, expects lighter pandemic restrictions

Bowim’s consolidated sales fell -6% on-year in the nine months through September to 371,123 tonnes, with sheet sales down -10% to 131,486t. Pipe and profile, and rebar shipments declined -1% and -8% respectively to 74,132t and 65,668t, Kallanish notes.

Consolidated revenue fell -15% to PLN 876.1 million ($237.8m) due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on steel demand and prices. Operational costs fell more steeply than revenue, helping the firm turn to a net profit of PLN 5.1m versus a year-earlier loss of PLN 1.6m. In terms of procurement, imports accounted for 28% versus 35% a year earlier.

The third quarter saw a certain market stabilisation after the pandemic ravaged business in Q2, but the crisis is worsening again now, the Polish distributor says. However, management does not expect pandemic-related restrictions to be as severe as in the spring.

Numerous social and economic restrictions throughout the year have slashed demand, forcing the firm to cut costs to adapt to the changes. Another unfavourable factor for Poland’s industry is its energy mix, which is based mainly on coal and therefore incurs large costs from EU climate policy, Bowim says.

Declining EU automotive production has resulted in increased competition among the region’s sheet suppliers. Polish car production fell -40% on-year in January-September and is not forecast to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.