Vitkovice Steel appoints new chief executive

Vitkovice Steel has appointed chief financial officer Radek Strouhal as chairman and chief executive effective 1 January, replacing Dmitrij Ščuka who will leave the company after over ten years.

“The change in the company’s board of directors will not have any significant effect on the company’s day-to-day operations,” Strouhal says in a note seen by Kallanish. “We will continue to focus on our long-term priorities, in particular the quality of our products and services, and strengthening competitiveness.”

The Czech plate mill has bounced back into profit after several loss-making years, posting a CZK 25 million ($1.1m) net profit in the nine months through September. This was supported by strong steel demand and production efficiency improvement. The firm said the outlook was also positive despite rising utility prices.

Last year Vitkovice posted a CZK 267m loss. This was still better than previous years. The previous time the firm posted annual profit was in 2017 but this was due purely to high exchange rate profit from revaluation of shareholder loans. Before that, the firm last registered profit in 2008.

Vitkovice has a 755,000 tonnes/year capacity plate mill and seldom-used 170,000 t/y heavy sections mill. The firm switched to sourcing merchant slab when it shut down its 950,000 t/y electric arc furnace-based meltshop in 2015.

Adam Smith Germany