The Acerinox Group’s results in the first half of 2023 show a clear improvement over the second half of 2022. As anticipated in the last results publication, the improvement is also reflected in the comparison of the first two quarters of 2023, with those of the second quarter being slightly higher than those of the first quarter.
EBITDA in the first half of the year totaled EUR 462 million, 39% higher than the previous half-year (51% lower than the same period in 2022, when the Group achieved the best results in its history). Revenue, on the other hand, decreased by 9% when comparing these same two periods, closing at EUR 3,522 million.
In the first half, profit after tax and non-controlling interests amounted to EUR 278 million, a significant improvement compared to the second half of the previous year.
As stated by the CEO, Bernardo Velázquez, “Acerinox achieved good results in the first half of the year in the current complex environment and establishes a new profitability threshold.”
These results show “the success of the strategic choices made in recent years and the efficiency improvements achieved over the last decade. Thus, Acerinox is managing to flatten the cyclicality of its sector and achieve good results even in the weak moments of the cycle.”
Velázquez refers to, first of all, “business diversification thanks to the High-Performance Alloys Division (VDM Metals),” and how, especially in the stainless steel sector, “the Group strategically benefits from its geographical diversification, enabling optimal operations based on market conditions,” and, second, to a “global production and distribution network which will allow us to stay close to suppliers and customers, support the regionalization process and improve supply chains.”
By the end of the first half of 2023, the Group has achieved cumulative synergies of EUR 47 million compared to the planned EUR 36 million, amounting to EUR 11 million (+29%) more than estimated at the start of the integration in 2020.
By working together, the sales teams of the two business units succeeded in adding 126 new customers to the Group’s customer base. In addition, they have worked together on 8 relevant projects, particularly in the chemical and petrochemical industries, which has given both business units a boost in production.
In 2022, the Board of Directors approved a dividend policy stating that an ordinary distribution of EUR 0.60 per share will be made, taking into account the existing number of shares. The dividend will be paid in two installments: an interim payment in January and a final payment in July.
For 2023, Acerinox allocated EUR 150 million as dividends to its shareholders. On June 30, EUR 75 million had been disbursed as shareholder remuneration.
In the stainless steel sector, we anticipate an improvement to our order book in the latter half of the year once inventories have normalized across all markets, despite uncertainties and weakened demand. The third quarter will be marked by the seasonal patterns typical of the summer months, especially in Europe.
The high-performance-alloys sector continues to enjoy robust demand, particularly in the chemical, petrochemical, and aerospace industries. The order book allows us to be optimistic about the coming months.
Under these circumstances, we expect good results in the third quarter, although they may be lower than those of the second quarter.
In addition, we aim to reduce operating working capital as part of our capital allocation optimization strategy.