Thyssenkrupp sees some slowdown of strong market

After two quarters of increasing sales and orders in its first fiscal half-year through March 2021, thyssenkrupp remains upbeat for the overall economy this year, but sees the momentum throttled currently.

The share of the automotive industry is relatively high for the group’s steel sales, with more than half of output sold on long-term contracts. Hence, it does feel repercussions of production breaks at carmakers due to the global shortage of semiconductors, “but also due to other logistic issues”, group chief financial officer Klaus Keysberg said during a conference call. Demand will remain high in the long run, “but for these reasons our expectations for the current quarter are more modest”, Kallanish heard him say.

In the March quarter, order intake and revenue at tk Steel Europe were up 13% to €2.4 billion ($2.9 billion) and 8% to €2.2 billion respectively from the prior year. As a result of catch-up effects, above all from the automotive industry, and strong demand from restocking, particularly at steel processors, business continued to pick up.

Adjusted Ebit improved significantly, to €47 million, after a loss of €181m a year earlier, due to higher capacity utilisation, improved product mix, positive price trends as well as restructuring  measures.

At distribution division tk Materials Services, order intake increased by 9% to €3.1 billion in the March quarter, while revenue was down slightly by 3% to €2.9 billion, due to shortage of supply. At €126m, adjusted Ebit came up from a loss of €29m. Key factors here were the increase in finished and stainless steel prices caused by the materials shortage. Tk also points at its ongoing network optimisation: since 2019, the segment has reduced the number of logistics sites by 39, including five in the reporting quarter.

Christian Koehl Germany