Swiss Steel’s sales weaken in first half

In the first half of 2023, Swiss Steel’s business environment was negatively shaped by factors such as a slowdown in the global economy and rising interest rates to counter inflation.

“Our main customer segments, the automotive industry and the mechanical and plant engineering sector, continued to be affected by the global distortions,” Kallanish hears from the company. Incoming orders as well as order backlog continued to decline in H1, due to lower market demand combined with destocking by the company’s customers.

Sales volume decreased considerably, leading to lower revenue despite ongoing high prices.
Swiss Steel shipped 756,000 tonnes across all product groups and sites, versus 937,000t in the same period of last year.

Volumes decreased at all its divisions, with the strongest dip suffered by the Tool Steel Division, down 32%. The Engineering Steel Division was also considerably below the prior half-year, down 20%, on the back of a lower sales volume in the automotive industry. This particular drop could have been caused by the rise in electric car production, which requires fewer components of speciality long products as made by Swiss Steel.

After a prolonged period of price increases, prices per tonne of steel fell in H1. However, at €2,460/tonne ($2,704), the average sales price is still higher than that achieved in H1 2022 –€2,290/t. An improved product mix, with a higher share of stainless steel in the product portfolio, as well as higher alloy surcharges led to this effect.

The group’s revenue declined by 14% to €1.86 billion, spread across all divisions, with the strongest decline seen in the Engineering Steel Division, down by 22%. By region, revenue decreased in all markets, except in America. Adjusted Ebitda dropped from €171 million to €70m.

Christian Koehl Germany