voestalpine is a leading steel and technology group with a unique combination of materials and processing expertise. Operating globally, voestalpine has around 500 group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on five continents.
With its premium products and system solutions, the company is a leading partner to the automotive and consumer goods industries, as well as to the aerospace and the oil & natural gas industries. voestalpine is also the global market leader in railway systems, tool steel, and special sections, which gives it a unique perspective on developments within a variety of sectors.
voestalpine achieved a solid result in the first half of 2023/24 (1st April to 30th September) with revenue reaching €8.5 billion, which is 8.4% down from the €9.3 billion achieved the previous year, but they were record figures and this year has seen an overall weaker economic environment.
“In a market environment that was challenging at times, voestalpine was able to demonstrate its strengths in the first half of 2023/24 with its focus on high-quality products, particularly for the mobility and energy industries. The present results are in-line with the long-term average and are definitely satisfactory in view of the current economic conditions,” explained Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of voestalpine AG.
For the first half of 2023/24 voestalpine confirmed it saw a decline in demand from the construction, mechanical engineering and consumer goods segments. Exports by Chinese steel manufacturers also placed huge pressure on the international steel markets. Nevertheless, the company’s performance in its most important customer segments remained consistently positive thanks to its strategic focus on the highest quality. In the automotive industry for instance, easing of the global supply chain situation resulted in stable production levels. The rail and aerospace industries, the conventional energy sector (oil and natural gas) and the renewable energy sector (solar industry) also continued to perform very well, defying the overall economic trend. Positive demand also prevailed in storage technology.
Looking forward, voestalpine believes the automotive industry should remain largely robust in the second half of 2023/24. Although the high order backlogs built-up as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic are increasingly being processed by car manufacturers, overall development is expected to remain largely stable until the end of the current business year.
The conventional energy sector lost momentum on the price side in the course of the first half of the business year 2023/24, but this is due to the reduction of material bottlenecks and not to market weakness. Demand for voestalpine products for the oil and natural gas industry has consequently normalised and a largely stable development is anticipated for the second half of 2023/24.
The good market environment in the renewable energy sector is expected to continue for the remainder of the business year 2023/24. In the area of railway systems, the current very good development is expected to continue for the remainder of the business year, although the usual seasonality over the ‘northern winter’ has to be taken into account. The upward trend in the aerospace industry will also continue in the second half of the business year 2023/24.
voestalpine’s forecasts are therefore largely in-line with previous assessments, although the economic outlook for Europe must now be viewed somewhat more cautiously. Investment activity in the industrial sector in particular has slowed and is estimated to remain at a low level in the second half of 2023/24. Therefore, assuming no massive economic distortions on account of the central banks’ interest rate policies or geopolitical escalation scenarios, the management board of voestalpine AG expects EBITDA for the business year 2023/24 to be in the region of €1.7 billion, which is in-line with current market expectations.
voestalpine underlines that the impact of current geopolitical developments remains difficult to assess. However, it is clear that the war in Europe and the armed conflict in the Middle East have significantly increased the risk of unforeseeable influences on the economic environment, which makes all forecasts more uncertain.
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