The negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on shipments and operating income at Klöckner & Co in the second quarter was mitigated more than expected. This was supported by the advanced digitalisation of the company.
Compared with the previous forecast of a negative operating income, the distribution group now expects to break even, or post positive Ebitda of up to €10 million ($11m) before material special effects. On its advanced digitalisation, Klöckner cites the smooth shift of large parts of working activities to staff working from home. This enabled continuous delivery capability and proved to be a significant competitive advantage, it says.
At a press conference call in May, ceo Gisbert Rühl already said the hiatus caused by the coronavirus epidemic could turn out to be a classic case of a crisis that generates new opportunities.
Since the start of the lockdown, Klöckner made progress with transferring its business to online platforms. “Now that there is a crisis, we can implement some of the measures faster,” Kallanish heard from Rühl at the conference. The company’s share of online sales in March and April rose faster than it did in early 2019.