Klöckner benefits from rising prices in autumn

Guido Kerkhoff

Klöckner & Co has recovered from the deep net loss of €111 million ($130m) it saw in the second quarter, to almost break even with a net loss of €5m in Q3.

Shipments rose from 1.07 million tonnes in Q2 to 1.242mt in Q3. This is -13% less than in Q3 2019, but “…so-to-speak good news after the drop of far more than -20% in Q3,” says chief financial officer Guido Kerkhoff, who will soon become chief executive.

During a conference call attended by Kallanish, outgoing ceo Gisbert Rühl noted that the distribution group benefited from positive price effects during Q3, especially in the USA. In Q2, material special effects had cost the group €72m, but this cost was only €2m in Q3. Revenue came to €1.279 billion, down -18% on the corresponding 2019 period.

Rühl noted that the quarter was also characterised by a shortage of material after many blast furnaces were temporarily idled. Commenting on further price developments, he remained vague, saying that “…we have already seen a big surge.”

On e-commerce activities, he said that revenue from the group’s own online platform, klöckner.i, will reach €300m in the full year, and is bound to reach €1 billion in 2021. Klöckner’s open e-market, Xom, which by now gathers 55 supplier companies, is expected to reach €130m in revenue this year, and some €600m next year.