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Aperam sees hard times persisting

In its 2023 financial report monitored by Kallanish, stainless steelmaker Aperam acknowledged that the European stainless steel market remains “deeply depressed,” despite some improvement in the fourth quarter of 2023. Aperam’s chief executive, Timoteo Di Maulo, commented on the situation, noting that extreme margin pressure persists, and volumes reflect an industrial recession in Europe.

The company experienced a significant decline in turnover, which decreased by 19.2% year-on-year to €6.5 billion ($7 billion) due to lower sales volumes and weaker prices. Shipments also declined by 4.8% to 2,198,000 tonnes. Adjusted EBITDA dropped to €304 million compared to €1.1 billion in the previous year.

In the stainless and electrical steel division, sales amounted to €4.2 billion in 2023 with shipments at 1,550,000 tonnes, reflecting a decrease from €5.5 billion turnover and shipments of 1,600,000 tonnes in 2022.

However, the Recycling & Renewables division emerged as the best-performing segment, recording an EBITDA of €156 million in 2023 compared to €86 million in 2022, thanks to higher volumes and positive inventory valuation effects. Sales stood at €1.9 billion, down from €2.4 billion in 2022. Aperam’s acquisition of German stainless recycling company ELG Haniel in 2021 played a significant role in strengthening this division.

The challenging market conditions have underscored the importance of successful integration into raw materials for Aperam. In Q4 of 2023, the Recycling & Renewables division became Aperam’s largest earnings contributor for the first time. As the company enters 2024, Phase 5 of its ‘Leadership Journey’ self-help program has commenced.

The stainless steel market in Europe is currently characterized by destocking and strong stagnation. Steelmakers are facing high production costs and weak sales of coils and derivatives. Aggressive commercial behaviors in certain EU countries are contributing to price declines in the coil derivative sector, exacerbating the margin squeeze across the entire supply chain.

Full story on Eurometal.net