Voestalpine: automotive developing acceptably, other sectors weaken

Voestalpine’s first fiscal quarter through June turned out to be satisfactory for the group, although it notes that the overall economic mood in some segments has already clouded over noticeably.

“As expected, order intake from the construction, mechanical engineering, and consumer goods industry market segments weakened,” chief executive Herbert Eibensteiner said during the firm’s quarterly earnings call. “The central banks’ measures to fight inflation seem to have reached the manufacturing industry,” he noted, echoing Germany’s mechanical engineering federation VDMA (see Kallanish 9 August). He added that demand from these segments can be expected to remain weak throughout the rest of the 2023/24 business year.

On the other hand, the automotive segment in voestalpine’s customer portfolio is at least performing stably, the company notes. It expects this development to continue for the rest of the business year. The supply bottlenecks faced by the automotive industry for over two years are increasingly dissipating, it states.

Regarding regional developments, voestalpine expects the strongest economic slowdown in Europe, and is more optimistic for the economy in North America.

Compared with the June-2022 quarter, revenue decreased by 4.3% to €4.4 billion ($4.8 billion). The decline in Ebitda was more pronounced, at 42.6% to €505 million. However, “it is important to remember that we are measuring ourselves against the best quarter in the group’s history,” Eibensteiner cautioned.

Christian Koehl Germany