Klöckner expects increased sales in 2024

Klöckner & Co expects “considerably stronger” demand in its key European and North American markets in 2024, with conditions “increasingly returning to normal” given declining inflation.

The steel distribution group therefore anticipates increased shipments and sales over 2023. The outlook it gives for specific industries in its main regions sounds somewhat more modest, though.

For North America, the German-based steel distributor forecasts growth of between 1% and 3%, with slight growth seen for the construction and energy industries. Transportation sectors – encompassing cars, shipbuilding, trains – mechanical engineering and white goods are seen on par with the previous year.

For Europe, it expects a growth of only 0-1%, with a slight upward trend for energy and white goods, while the other sectors are seen remaining flat.

In 2023, Klöckner’s shipments were 4.25 million tonnes, a slight increase from the 2022 volume of 4.19mt achieved in 2022. The increase was mainly driven by the “strong development” of Kloeckner Metals Americas, Kallanish learns from the group’s annual results presentation. Revenue, however, fell by 17% to €6.96 billion ($7.3 billion), due to the considerably lower price levels compared with 2022.

The net result from continuing operations was close to breakeven, with a net loss of €0.3 million. However, impairment losses in connection with discontinued operations – meaning the sale of the country organisations of France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Belgium – meant Klöckner ended up with a net loss of €190m.

Christian Koehl Germany