- The net result, 136 million euros after tax and minority interests, is the best since 2007
- This result includes an impairment of 23 million euros, as a result of the Spanish fiscal reform, which does not involve a cash outflow and will only be imposed in 2014.
Acerinox ends 2014 with profits of 136.3 million euros (6.2 times the amount the previous year), after tax, minority interests and the fiscal reform impairment (which does not involve a cash outflow). The net result, without the new tax, would have been 159 million euros. These are the best results the company has had in the last seven years.
The Company has achieved profits of 243.8 million euros before tax, which is 7.3 times more than last year, which "gives us reason to be optimistic about the future", as pointed out by Bernardo Velázquez, CEO of Acerinox, who added that "the world economic situation on the
whole is improving and this growth will have the effect of creating a balance between the supply and demand of stainless steel. This scenario will allow us to increase the usage of the capacity of our facilities, and as a result we will be able to fulfil the potential of Acerinox as the most
competitive group in the sector".
The turnover of Grupo Consolidado during 2014 was 4,380 million euros, a 10.4% increase over the previous year.
During the fourth quarter of 2014, Acerinox obtained before-tax profits of 44.9 million euros, and an EBITDA of 101 million euros.
In addition to the above-mentioned fiscal adjustment due to the company-tax reform, in this last quarter the seasonal effects of the drop in activity as a result of clients' inventory reductions as the year approaches its end have been felt, as well as the fall in the price of nickel, which leads to a postponement of buying.
This is coupled with a significant increase in imports, especially from China and Taiwan, during the second half of 2014, which were equal to more than 30% of the European market some months, 10 points higher than the year before. This excess of material had to be assumed, coinciding with the reduced activity on the market, which affected Acerinox production. With regard to the countries in question, it is to be noted that the European Union is studying 'anti dumping' measures.
In this context, Acerinox continues to increase its profit margins, despite low prices, due in particular to operational excellence, which was achieved as a consequence of the Excellence Plans of the three previous years, which gave the Company a new competitive edge.
The Chairman of the board, Rafael Miranda, assured that, "the Company's excellent results confirm consolidation of the improvement begun in previous years and are a result of managerial excellence, operational efficiency and a timely geographical diversification".
Last December, the board approved Excellence Plan IV, which envisages a saving of 70 million euros.
In addition to the four excellence plans, in recent years the Company has carried out an intensive fixed-cost reduction initiative, which has led to an annual saving of 110 million euros.
Further key aspects are staff salaries (54 million euros) and the modern systems of optimisation
and rationalisation of maintenance, which have produced a saving of 45 million euros.
Twice the Previous Year´s EBITDA
Acerinox ended the year with an EBITDA of 454.2 million euros, which was double that of the previous year (228.1 million euros).
The Debt / EBITDA ratio has dropped to 1.4, which is an indication of the financial solidity of the Company. The end-of-year net financial debt rose to 616 million euros, an increase of 16% in comparison to the previous year, as a result of the rise in the price of raw
materials and the increase in the number of orders.
Financing in South Africa
Columbus Stainless (Pty) Ltd has reached a pre-agreement with a group of international and South African banks for a syndicated, structured financing deal worth up to 3,500 rand (265 million euros) with its current assets as collateral. It is expected to have been validated by
March, and is currently in the documentation phase.
Despite the strong competition in the sector, the improved situation of the economy coupled with the increase number of orders allows us to be optimistic about the first quarter of 2015, and we hope the improvement continues throughout the rest of the year.