Special and stainless steel maker Aperam, with operations in Brazil and Europe, achieved record results for the fourth time in a row in the fourth-quarter 2021 amid a positive market environment, the company reported Feb. 11. It also diversified into stainless steel scrap and superalloys recycling in the quarter with the purchase of ELG.
Fourth-quarter 2021 steel shipments at 424,000 mt were marginally lower than the 431,000 mt of Q4 2020, Aperam’s results statement showed. However, notably higher market sales prices took EBITDA per metric ton to Eur1,090 ($1,238), almost triple the Eur369 of a year previously.
Aperam’s Q4 EBITDA rose to Eur462 million, up from Eur159 million in the year-ago quarter, beating analysts’ estimates.
For the whole of 2021, the steelmaker shipped a total of 1.8 million mt of steel, up 8.5% on 2020, while higher prices boosted sales revenue by 40.58% to Eur5.1 billion. EBITDA for the year shot up to Eur1.19 billion, from Eur343 million in the previous year, while net income rose to Eur968 million, from Eur175 million in 2020.
In Q1 2022, Aperam’s adjusted EBITDA is expected to grow slightly from the record Q4 2021 base, it said.
“Looking ahead, our long order book signals a good first half,” CEO Timoteo Di Maulo said in the results statement.
“We’ve not witnessed any softening of demand in Europe in recent weeks,” Di Maulo said in a later call with analysts. “The market is seeing a good level of supply and demand.”
The company’s energy costs peaked in Q4 and are expected to fall moving forward, which should help bolster profitability, he said.
The company will start a share buyback in Q2, Di Maulo added.
Aperam has a flat stainless and electrical steel capacity of 2.5 million mt/year in Brazil and the EU, where it has six production facilities in Brazil, Belgium and France. It also has an integrated distribution, processing and services network and can produce stainless and special steels from low-cost biomass (charcoal made from its own FSC-certified forestry).
Aperam consolidated Germany-based ELG as of Dec. 31, 2021, under a new recycling segment.
With this development, Aperam say it has become a global leader in collecting, trading, processing and recycling of stainless steel scrap and high performance alloys, including nickel- and titanium-based superalloys scrap, delivering around 1.2 million mt of materials annually. The recycling segment’s results will be presented as a division along with the rest of Aperam’s results as from Q1 this year, Di Maulo said on the call.
“2021 was an extremely exciting year and the future will be even more exciting,” he said. “We expect a lot of progress on ELG in the short term.”
— Diana Kinch