Stainless steel manufacturing group the Acerinox Group, Madrid, Spain, the parent company of VDM Metals International GmbH, reports that it has achieved the best half-yearly results in fourteen years, with EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization) of €378 million (130% higher than the same period of 2020) and profit after tax and non-controlling interests of €203 million (€78 million in the first quarter and €125 million in the second), compared with just €2 million in the January–June 2020 period.
Revenue totalled €3,066 million in the half-year, representing a 32% increase on the first half of 2020, thanks to a good performance in terms of both volume and price.
The group’s total production, which improved in both the stainless steel division (+28%) and the high performance alloys division (+6%), increased by 29% compared with the same period in 2020 to 1,343,946 tonnes.
Net financial debt, amounting to €838 million, increased by €66 million with respect to December 31, 2020, following the increase in working capital (€253 million) and the payment of a dividend (€135 million).
The improvement that commenced in summer 2020 was maintained in the second quarter. In view of the positive demand situation and the greater visibility afforded by the group’s backlog, it is estimated that EBITDA will improve from the second to the third quarter, both in the stainless steel and the high performance alloys divisions. Expected cash generation in the third quarter is projected to enable it to reduce the net financial debt of the group.
In the first half of 2021, the group was awarded a Gold-level rating by the EcoVadis Sustainability rating platform and was awarded the three prizes in the sustainability category by the International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF).
In the first half of 2021, Acerinox continued to achieve the goals relating to green loans from BBVA, Sabadell and CaixaBank. The intensity of CO2 emissions fell by 5% with respect to the first half of 2020 (-6% with respect to the preceding half year); energy intensity fell by 2% with respect to the first half of 2020 (-3% with respect to the preceding half year). Water consumption intensity was reduced by 18% from 2020 to 2021.
In line with Acerinox’s commitment to sustainability, it has also announced the launch of a sustainable stainless steel product line. These products, characterised by the large proportion of recycled material used in the manufacturing process and by the use of renewable energies.
Integration of VDM Metals
VDM Metals International GmbH, Werdohl, Germany, was acquired in March 2020. Despite the difficulties arising as a result of the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and global travel restrictions, online meetings enabled major milestones to be satisfactorily reached resulting in a positive integration.
Synergies valued at €5.2 million were achieved in the first half of the year, 42% higher than the estimated target for this period. Best practices in the stainless steel and high performance alloys divisions – which were incorporated into long- and flat-product technical exchange projects, both in Europe and the United States – boosted efficiency in the manufacture of standard products. Shared resources enabled new products to be created in eight different types of alloy, such as wide coil, plates and precision strips. Furthermore, the high performance alloys division has been included in the Excellence 360º cost reduction and efficiency improvement programme.