Although the production figures of the Steel Division have been excellent in 2013/14 thus far—and are on course to reach an all-time production high for the business year as a whole—sales figures dropped in the first three quarters compared to the same period in the previous year due to the overall lower level of prices. Particularly in the heavy plate business segment, fewer orders and price pressure from the oil and natural gas sectors resulted in a substantial decline in revenue and operating results. (For clarification: After nine months, the negative EBIT deviation is around EUR 40 million compared to the original budget). The revenue went down by 3.1% from EUR 2,906.0 million to EUR 2,815.1 million. The losses in the results were much higher because the raw materials prices, which fell only slightly, could not even come close to compensating weak sales prices. Therefore, after three quarters, the Division recorded EBITDA that was reduced by 15.2%, going from EUR 336.5 million in the previous year to EUR 285.4 million, with the EBITDA margin dropping from 11.6% to 10.1%. At EUR 113.5 million, EBIT was about one third below the previous year’s figure (EUR 164.8 million). Accordingly, at 4.0%, the EBIT margin was significantly reduced; it compares to a margin of 5.7% for the first three quarters of 2012/13.
While revenue in the third quarter of 2013/14 went down by 5.5% from EUR 938.5 million to EUR 886.8 million compared to the immediately preceding quarter, due to lower delivery volumes for heavy plate, the operating result (EBITDA) and profit from operations (EBIT) stabilized somewhat, albeit at a moderate level. EBITDA in the third quarter was EUR 87.5 million (second quarter: EUR 86.6 million) and EBIT came to EUR 28.7 million (second quarter: EUR 29.5 million). The EBITDA margin increased from 9.2% to 9.9%, while the EBIT margin remained practically constant at 3.2% (second quarter: 3.1%).
At the end of the third quarter of the current business year, the number of employees (FTE) in the Steel Division was 10,862, 4.3% higher than on December 31 of the previous year (10,414 FTE) or 1.7% above the comparative figure as of the end of the previous business year (10,676 FTE).