Voestalpine pushes processing activities

At voestalpine’s annual press conference, executives highlighted the company’s set-up as a materials producer with a share of processing that makes up more than half of its activities.

“We keep focusing on premium products and solutions,“ Kallanish heard ceo Herbert Eibensteiner say at the conference. “We are banking on growth in processing activities, and will keep developing innovative solutions in cooperation with our customers,” he said. Despite the difficult global environment overall, the company says its order books are filled through the summer at least, and longer for some product and customer segments.

The automotive industry should see some improvement over the course of the year – from a modest status quo, however. According to Peter Schwab, head of the Metal Forming Division, the original forecast of a 20-25% gain in the automotive industry turned into a drop of 4% so far.

“We are still running on two-thirds of the pre-Covid level,” he said. Especially German carmakers have fallen back “on the level of 1974,” the year of the oil crisis, when the weekend driving ban left the motorways empty and quiet on Sundays.

Executives highlighted especially voestalpine’s railway infrastructure segment as a reliably stabilising factor on the whole throughout the year, as has been the case in the past.

“The unit performed better than we anticipated in our original planning,” said Franz Kainersdorfer, head of the Metal Engineering Division.  

The same applied to the division’s Industrial Systems unit, following the takeover of a Swiss welding company.

“We can now cover the entire range of welding services,” Kainersdorfer said. With wire welding solutions, voestalpine has since gained orders in automotive, and tubular solutions profited from the immensely risen oil prices and the abolition of Section 232, he added.

Christian Koehl Germany