German steel distribution group Klöckner & Co and steelmaker Salzgitter AG both say that they will be unable to maintain the profit guidance they gave earlier this month, Kallanish notes. Following thyssenkrupp, they are the other big stock market-listed German steel companies to have lowered expectations because of the coronavirus crisis.
Against the background of crisis measures and unforeseeable developments in the near future, the economic impact of the pandemic on Klöckner cannot be determined nor reliably quantified, the company says. At its annual press conference only two weeks ago, it indicated a significant increase in operating income (Ebitda) as target for the full year 2020, from last year’ s basis of €124 million ($134m). Its 2019 revenue was €6.3 billion.
Klöckner notes that it has significant liquidity reserves to counter the crisis and has taken comprehensive measures to protect the health of its employees as well as to protect its business. This comprises the activation of emergency plans and the temporary reduction in operations by way of short-time working.
Similarly, Salzgitter says that it can neither maintain its forecast published on 16 March, nor provide a robust new forecast for the financial year 2020. It had predicted pre-tax earnings at around breakeven, after a pre-tax loss of €253m last year, largely caused by non-recurring factors. Its revenue was expected to return to €9 billion this year.