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Acerinox reports slower but profitable 2023

In 2023, Acerinox faced challenges in the stainless steel market, particularly due to a significant decline in activity and consumption in the United States and Europe. Despite these challenges, the company managed to achieve a net profit of 228 million euros ($247 million) and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 703 million euros ($762 million).

Supply chain incidents also impacted trade routes, adding to the difficulties faced by Acerinox. However, the high-performance alloys sector maintained positive performance throughout the year.

To address the challenges and maintain competitiveness, Acerinox embarked on several strategic initiatives. These included:

  1. Acquisition: Acerinox’s North American Stainless (NAS) complex in Kentucky made an offer to acquire Haynes International, an Indiana-based firm specializing in high-performance alloys.
  2. Investment: The company announced a $244 million investment at the NAS complex to enhance productivity and increase production capacity by 20%. This investment involves implementing digital solutions and purchasing advanced equipment.
  3. Investment in VDM Metals: Acerinox is investing over $70 million in its VDM Metals business unit to increase production by 15% and improve efficiency.

However, the outlook for Acerinox’s Bahru Stainless complex in Malaysia is less optimistic. The company is considering strategic options for the future of the Bahru Stainless plant, including the possibility of ceasing its operations. Consequently, an impairment of Bahru Stainless’s assets amounting to 156 million euros ($227 million) was recorded, although it did not result in a cash outflow.

Overall, Acerinox describes 2023 as a challenging but positive year, marked by strategic investments in its North American operations and high-performance alloy business while evaluating options for its Malaysian plant.