There has been a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in many areas of the world since the end of the reporting period. In Europe, many EU member states have reacted by imposing lockdowns of varying severity yet again. The impact of these measures on economic growth going forward cannot be prognosticated in detail at the time this report is published. What is certain, however, is that the uncertainty regarding forecasts of future developments is much greater now.
Against this backdrop, the voestalpine Group will continue to focus on cost management and earnings stabilization. At the same time, our efforts to manage working capital will remain high and investments will remain low in order to strengthen the Group’s cash flow as well as its asset and capital structure.
It is to be expected in any case even though the situation regarding COVID-19 has intensified that the gradual improvement in the economic environment at the end of the first half of the business year 2020/21 will continue as the business year progresses. With the exception of the oil and natural gas sector as well as the aerospace industry, the positive trend in demand for products of the voestalpine Group in all major market segments should continue unabated in the business year’s second half.
Assuming that there will be no other material constraints on economic activity owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as additional governmental restrictions, the Management Board currently forecasts EBITDA of between EUR 800 million and EUR 1 billion for the entire business year 2020/21.