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    VOE   AT0000937503

VOESTALPINE AG

(VOE)
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PRESS RELEASE: voestalpine AG / voestalpine delivers positive result and higher liquidity in the business year 2020/21 despite the crisis

06/09/2021 | 01:31am EDT
=------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
  Corporate news transmitted by euro adhoc with the aim of a Europe-wide 
  distribution. The issuer is responsible for the content of this announcement. 
=------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
 
Financial Figures/Balance Sheet 
 
Linz - 
 
* Driven by economic factors, revenue declines by 11.4%, from EUR 12.7 billion 
  to EUR 11.3 billion 
* At EUR 1.1 billion, operating result (EBITDA) much better than expected at the 
  start of the business year (business year 2019/20: EUR 1.2 billion); EBITDA 
  margin: 10.1% 
* At EUR 115 million, profit from operations (EBIT) once again clearly positive 
  (2019/20: EUR -89 million) 
* Profit before tax of EUR 11 million (2019/20: EUR -230 million) and profit 
  after tax of EUR 32 million (2019/20: EUR -216 million) once again clearly 
  positive too 
* Cash flows from operating activities rise substantially to EUR 1.6 billion 
* Despite the economic crisis, strong increase in liquidity and decrease in 
  liabilities thanks to consistent measures to lower costs and boost efficiency 
* As of March 31, 2021, gearing ratio falls to 49% (March 31, 2020: 67%) 
* Equity stable at EUR 5.6 billion 
* Number of employees (FTE) declines year over year by 2.1%, from 49,700 to 
  48,700 
* Dividend of EUR 0.50 per share for the business year 2020/21 proposed to 
  Annual General Meeting (2019/20: EUR 0.20 per share) 
* Outlook for business year 2021/22: EBITDA between EUR 1.6 billion and EUR 1.9 
  billion 
 
 
voestalpine's business year 2020/21 was defined by an economic downturn of 
historic proportions. While almost all customer segments saw demand melt away in 
the first business quarter, starting in the second quarter demand for 
voestalpine's products rose once again despite renewed lockdowns in many markets 
and kept rising throughout the business year. The automotive industry, in 
particular, showed surprising strength once it emerged from its COVID-19-induced 
low, triggering substantial growth in demand for high-quality steel products. 
Aerospace and oil & natural gas were hit particularly hard by the crisis. The 
Railway Systems business segment, by contrast, developed along a stable 
trajectory throughout the reporting period. The storage technology segment, for 
its part, posted all-time high orders thanks to booming online commerce. 
 
"In addition to the economic tailwind, the steps we took internally to cut costs 
and boost efficiency made a decisive contribution to the Group's positive 
results for the year. Despite the economic crisis, voestalpine now has more 
liquidity and less debt than just a year ago. The strengths of our business 
model were on full display yet again during the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, we 
will continue to focus on high-tech segments that meet highest quality 
requirements and drive innovation in collaboration with our customers," says 
Herbert Eibensteiner, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG. 
 
Development of revenue and earnings 
 
Even though demand for voestalpine's products rose significantly over the 
business year 2020/21, the Group's revenue fell by 11.4% to EUR 11.3 billion on 
account of economic factors. Similarly to the development of revenue, 
voestalpine also saw a marked upturn in earnings throughout the subsequent 
quarters. Given the COVID-19 crisis, the decline in EBITDA by 4% to EUR 1.1 
billion was moderate. At EUR 115 million, the Group succeeded once again in 
posting positive EBIT (2019/20: EUR -89 million). As previously communicated, in 
the business year 2020/21 (mainly its second quarter) EBIT was impacted by 
impairment losses of EUR 197 million largely attributable to two companies 
(voestalpine Texas and voestalpine Tubulars). 
 
Cash flows were extremely positive. The Group succeeded in substantially 
boosting its cash flow from operating activities to EUR 1.6 billion during the 
business year ended-especially because it reduced working capital by EUR 633 
million. This underscores the voestalpine Group's strong ability to fund itself 
even in a difficult market environment. 
 
Following EUR -230 million in the previous business year, profit before tax for 
the business year 2020/21 is EUR 11 million and thus slightly positive yet 
again. At EUR 32 million, the voestalpine Group also succeeded in boosting its 
after-tax profit (2019/20: EUR -216 million). 
 
The gearing ratio (net financial debt as a percentage of equity) improved year 
over year, from 67.2% to 48.5% as of the end of March 2021. Consistent working 
capital management and low investment levels enabled voestalpine to 
significantly reduce its net financial debt in the business year 2020/21 to EUR 
2.7 billion, down from EUR 3.8 billion a year earlier. This was the lowest level 
since the business year 2014/15. At EUR 5.6 billion, equity as of March 31, 
2021, was stable year over year (March 31, 2020: EUR 5.6 billion). 
 
As of March 31, 2021, the voestalpine Group had about 48,700 employees (FTE) 
worldwide, which equates to a year-over-year reduction by 2.1% (1,028 FTE). 
 
Proposed dividend: EUR 0.50 per share 
 
Subject to the approval of the Annual General Meeting of voestalpine AG, which 
will take place on July 7, 2021, a dividend of EUR 0.50 per share will be paid 
to the company's shareholders. Relative to voestalpine's average share price of 
EUR 24.51 in the business year 2020/21, the dividend yield is 2%. 
 
Implementation of important investment projects 
 
At EUR 612 million, the volume of investments in the business year 2020/21 was 
21.2% lower than the previous business year's expenditure of EUR 777 million and 
thus also fell significantly short of depreciation. But voestalpine initiated or 
pursued important projects nonetheless. A major cutting-edge project named "BETA 
3" that involves a new pickling line was launched at our facilities in Linz, 
Austria. The new "CC4" continuous casting plant, which represents the new core 
of steel production in Donawitz, Austria, was successfully started up. Both the 
challenges arising from COVID-19 and delays in deliveries from component 
suppliers slowed down construction at the world's most advanced special steel 
plant in Kapfenberg, Austria. From today's vantage point, we expect the plant's 
construction costs to rise by between 10% and 20% compared with the EUR 350 
million investment plan. The project is once again proceeding apace, individual 
steps such as the cold start-up will be accomplished in calendar year 2021, and 
the start-up of full operations is slated for the middle of 2022. Given the boom 
in online commerce, our storage technology segment benefited from investments in 
welding and assembly facilities in Krems, Austria. 
 
New standards lead the way to CO2-neutral steel production 
 
Decarbonizing steel production poses a major technological challenge for the 
entire European steel industry. voestalpine's "greentec steel" program clearly 
charts the way forward. Assuming that there will be sufficient electricity from 
renewable energy at economical prices, in a first step the shift from coal-based 
blast furnace production to electric arc technology is expected to bring about a 
roughly 30% reduction in CO2 by the year 2030. The Group plans to achieve 
climate-neutral steel production by the year 2050 using green electricity and 
green hydrogen. 
 
voestalpine-a company considered the benchmark worldwide in both climate change 
mitigation and environmental protection-has developed a scalable process that 
supports CO2-neutral steelmaking without a fossil fuel such as coal and has 
obtained a patent from the European Patent Office for it. Specifically, this 
patent comprises the production of hot briquetted iron (DRI or HBI) in a direct 
reduction process by way of green hydrogen and biogas. The Group will grant 
production licenses for the climate-neutral pre-material. 
 
Outlook for the business year 2021/22 
 
Currently, demand from almost all of voestalpine's important customer segments 
is high; in fact, some areas seem to be overheating due to catch-up effects. 
Even the oil & natural gas industry, which was hit particularly hard by the 
crisis, is starting to rebound incrementally. The most that can be expected for 
the aerospace industry, however, is a slight improvement in the course of the 
business year 2021/22. 
 
Given positive demand, from today's vantage point we may expect the economy on 
the whole to continue along its upward trajectory at least up to the end of 
calendar year 2021. This assessment also follows the forecasts of economic 
researchers. In addition, the trillions in EU and U.S. economic stimulus 
packages that aim to kickstart the economy are expected to provide important 
impetus for growth after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
But the crisis has not yet been overcome. Despite the availability of effective 
vaccines against the COVID-19 virus and growing immunization coverage, it is 
difficult to predict how the pandemic and its economic consequences will evolve 
going forward. The voestalpine Group will once again and increasingly focus on 
value-added growth over and above its consistent measures to boost efficiency 
and optimize cash flow. 
 
Assuming that the current economic momentum will continue and that there will be 
no new, unexpected distortions of the market, the Management Board of 
voestalpine AG expects EBITDA for the business year 2021/22 between EUR 1.6 
billion and EUR 1.9 billion. 
 
 
 
 
Key figures of voestalpine Group 
 
 _____________________________________________________________________________ 
|(gem._IFRS)_______________|BY_2019/20___________|BY_2020/21___________|Change| 
|__________________________|04/01/2019-03/31/2020|04/01/2020-03/31/2021|in_%__| 
|Revenue___________________|12,717.2_____________|11,266.6_____________|-11.4_| 
|EBITDA____________________|1,181.5______________|1,134.5______________|-4.0__| 
|EBITDA_margin_in_%________|9.3%_________________|10.1%________________|______| 

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2021 01:30 ET (05:30 GMT)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DJ INDUSTRIAL -1.58% 33290.08 Delayed Quote.10.51%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.44% 73.22 Delayed Quote.41.20%
S&P GSCI NATURAL GAS INDEX 1.35% 151.5123 Delayed Quote.27.45%
VOESTALPINE AG -2.69% 34.06 Delayed Quote.16.25%
WTI 0.00% 71.41 Delayed Quote.47.13%
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Financials
Sales 2022 14 071 M 16 693 M 16 693 M
Net income 2022 738 M 876 M 876 M
Net Debt 2022 2 706 M 3 210 M 3 210 M
P/E ratio 2022 8,22x
Yield 2022 2,43%
Capitalization 6 080 M 7 209 M 7 213 M
EV / Sales 2022 0,62x
EV / Sales 2023 0,65x
Nbr of Employees 46 048
Free-Float 70,2%
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Mean consensus HOLD
Number of Analysts 17
Average target price 34,70 €
Last Close Price 34,06 €
Spread / Highest target 40,9%
Spread / Average Target 1,88%
Spread / Lowest Target -35,4%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Herbert Eibensteiner Chairman-Executive Management Board
Robert Ottel Chief Financial Officer
Joachim Lemppenau Chairman-Supervisory Board
Franz Gasselsberger Member-Supervisory Board
Josef Gritz Member-Supervisory Board
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