Acerinox closed the 2017 tax year with a profit, after taxes and minority interests, of 234 million euros, three times more than in 2016. This is the best result of the last ten years.
The EBITDA reached 489 million euros, 48.6% higher than that of the previous financial year, with a margin over sales of 10.6%.
Net sales in 2017 increased to 4,627 million euros, 16.6% higher than in the 2016 tax year, due to price management in all markets, with the increase in value of raw materials transferred to final products.
Net financial debt decreased by 11 million euros. The debt/EBITDA ratio has decreased to 1.2 times.
“The results significantly demonstrate the company’s operating strategy and the optimisation of production capacities, as well as having been of particular importance for obtaining the savings achieved by means of the Excellence Plans”, as assured by the Chief Executive Officer, Bernardo Velázquez.
The Chairman of Acerinox, Rafael Miranda, wanted to highlight “the good performance of the markets and the positive impact on the result of the tax reform approved in the United States”.
In 2017, Acerinox achieved the record in cold rolling production since its creation in 1970. It also registered its second best year in melting shop and hot rolling production.
These volumes represent an increase, compared to 2016, of 1.3% with regard to cold rolling and 1.0% and 1.8% in hot rolling and melting shop, respectively.
Acerinox Europa will inaugurate its new lines in March
The constant investment and expansion of Acerinox Europa (Spain) will continue with the inauguration, in March, of an (AP) annealing and pickling line and a cold rolling mill, in which the company has invested 140 million euros.
Production of the new BA lines at NAS isprogressing
NAS (United States) is leader in its internal market and since October it adds to this leadership its role as a bright finish stainless steel manufacturer due to the launching of a bright annealing BA line, as well as a cold rolling mill, in which the Group invested over 120 million euros.
The recent tax reform in the United States will have a clearly positive effect on the results of Acerinox. To anticipate the behaviour of the Group in 2018, it will be necessary to be very aware of the possible protectionist measures in that country, of the reaction of Europe and other countries in the case of these measures were adopted and of the management of the excess of production capacity installed, especially in Asia. In this last factor will have special importance the growth of the production in Indonesia, but also the closing of mills in China or its change of activity towards the manufacture of carbon steel.
Once again flexibility, efficiency and control of costs will be key factors that will determine the results of Acerinox, for which we trust in the increase of the competitiveness achieved during the last years and in the current improvement plans.
The good situation of the economy in practically all countries should boost the consumption of stainless steel, especially if investments in infrastructure are reactivated and a phase of expansion of public spending is entered, as private consumption and production of capital goods are showing positive performance.
Although the comparison with the year 2017 will start being negative due to the exceptional results obtained in the first quarter of the previous year, favoured by the strong increases in the prices of raw materials, the current situation, join with the control of stocks in the main consumer markets and the prices recovery in the fourth quarter, allow to be optimistic for the year 2018. The alloy premiums are rising and the base prices have already improved in the United States.