Concerns over Europe’s continuing debt crisis, stagnating development in many industrialised nations and weakening growth in Asia have caused German longs producer Saarstahl to adopt a cautious outlook for 2012.
Environmental regulations are also weighing heavily on Saarstahl’s outlook, the company said in its earnings statement for 2011 released on Wednesday May 9.
“The Saarstahl Group is greatly concerned about the further burden placed on it by the energy and climate politics in Germany and the EU, as well as the planned EU guidelines for [the carbon] emission trade,” the company said.
Saarstahl noted its own economic and environmental concerns as it reported earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for 2011 of €354 million ($460 million).
While the results were down by 36% from the €553 million posted for 2010, Saarstahl noted changes in Germany’s accounting procedures.
“The very good result for 2010 was affected by high income from investment and the positive effects of changes in the accounting regulations,” the company said.
Group revenues rose by 16.4% to €2.67 billion from €2.3 billion, Saarstahl noted.
“Germany continues to be Saarstahl’s most important sales market but, in 2011, it was possible to increase exports to third-party countries (Nafta, Asia and the rest of the world),” the company said.
Saarstahl’s investments for 2011 totalled €122 million, more than double the €56 million that it undertook for 2010.
“The emphasis was on concluding the modernisation of the bar steel centre in Nauweiler and new construction of secondary metallurgy,” the company said.
Saarbrucken-headquartered Saarstahl in southwest Germany has production sites in Neunkirchen, Burbach and Völklingen, which can produce a total of 2.66 million tpy of low-carbon and alloyed long products, including bloom, billet, rebar, wire rod, merchant bar and beams.
The company also produces forged products at its Völklingen site for the automotive, aerospace, nuclear and conventional energy sectors.