Steel Division

      This report is a translation of the original report in German, which is solely valid.

      Market environment and business development

      The European steel market’s strong momentum held up throughout the first quarter of the business year 2021/22. Not even higher levels of imports were sufficient to cover Europe’s high demand for steel, which continued unabated. Supply chain inventories remained at record low levels. Steel prices rose in the European spot market as expected in this environment.

      The Steel Division’s performance reflects the strong demand for steel products throughout the reporting period.

      In the current business year to date, the consumer goods and white goods industries continued to benefit from the advantageous market momentum that carried over from the end of the previous period. This also applies to the construction industry, which returned to high capacity utilization after the seasonally weaker Northern winter months.

      In the first quarter of the business year 2021/22, the automotive industry continued to face supply problems stemming from the semiconductor industry. Consequently, some automotive manufacturers had to interrupt production for short periods but, so far, this issue has not triggered any noticeable decline in the demand for the Steel Division’s steel products.

      During the COVID-19 crisis, the mechanical engineering sector was hit particularly hard not just by Europe’s declining economy but also by the intercontinental travel restrictions that affected its international business. This industry had already rebounded to a significant degree by the end of the previous business year and continued to gain momentum over the first quarter of the current business year.

      The energy sector—one of the heavy plate product segment’s key markets—improved a bit in the wake of rising crude oil prices, but it was unable to latch on to the flat steel customer segment’s strong momentum.

      Production at the Steel Division’s plant in Linz, Austria, during the first quarter of the business year 2021/22 was at full capacity against this backdrop.

      What stands out with respect to the reporting period is that the strong demand for steel was not limited to the European market but instead affected all relevant economies. Worldwide demand for the pre-materials that are key to the production of steel thus was correspondingly high, fueling the steady rise in raw material prices. Iron ore, in particular, which had already seen strong increases throughout the previous business year, became ever more expensive during the first quarter of the business year 2021/22. The price of metallurgical coal also rose substantially toward the quarter’s end, while scrap prices followed a volatile upward trend. On the whole, therefore, developments in the raw materials markets throughout the first business quarter led to substantial cost increases in steel production.

      Given the extremely positive market environment, the Steel Division more than just offset the higher raw materials prices through higher steel prices during the first quarter of the current business year.

      The division’s direct reduction plant in Texas, USA, developed along a positive trajectory, given the good global environment for the steel industry and, in particular, the extraordinarily dynamic North American steel market.

      Development of the key figures

      Quarterly development of the Steel Division

      In millions of euros


      Q 1 2020/21


      Q 1 2021/22









      in %






















      EBITDA margin














      EBIT margin







      Employees (full-time equivalent),
      end of period







      Following the meltdown owing to the COVID-19 lockdowns at the start of the previous business year, the Steel Division’s revenue and earnings performance for the first quarter of the business year 2021/22 improved substantially. In Q1 2021/22, revenue jumped 58.3% to EUR 1,322.0 million year over year (Q1 2020/21: EUR 834.9 million). The prices for steel products saw a marked improvement thanks to the massive increases in raw materials prices and excellent demand. But the significant expansion in delivery volumes is the main driver of the division’s revenue growth. Against this backdrop, EBITDA soared in Q1 2021/22 to EUR 263.0 million (Q1 2020/21: EUR 68.2 million). The EBITDA margin climbed from 8.2% to 19.9% during the same period. At EUR –13.5 million (margin of –1.6%), EBIT was still negative in the same period of the previous year, but it jumped during the reporting period to EUR 186.9 million with a margin of 14.1%.