Klöckner foresees demand rising 10% in 2021

Germany’s Klöckner & Co has entered the new year with optimism that its net loss reported last year can be turned around, helped by steel demand recovery and the digitalisation of the company.

Shipments fell by 7.7% on-year in 2020 to 4.8 million tonnes. This, combined with falling steel demand in the group’s main markets of Germany/Europe and the US, slashed revenue by 19% to €5.1 billion ($6 billion). Ebitda decreased by 10% to €111 million. The year ended therefore with a net loss of €114m.

The company foresees an increase in steel demand in Europe of about 5-10% this year due to housing and infrastructure construction. US demand will grow about 10% on-year due to shipbuilding and construction. Klöckner also expects more steel demand in Germany, mainly due to shipbuilding. For the first quarter of 2021, an extraordinarily high Ebitda of €110-130m is expected.

“Every crisis is also an opportunity, so we do not look back over the past year with a solely negative perspective,” chief executive Gisbert Rühl said during the firm’s earnings call. “With the Surtsey project launched immediately after the onset of the pandemic, we gave an additional boost to our digital transformation” (see separate Kallanish story).

As part of restructuring measures, more than 80% of the planned reduction in the workforce by a total of some 1,200 positions in Europe and the US has already been implemented, representatives of the company tell Kallanish.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria