Swedish steel maker SSAB’s first quarter was characterized by high steel prices and earnings rose to a record level. SSAB President & CEO Mr Martin Lindqvist said “All divisions posted strong results more than offsetting the impact of an unplanned stop in a blast furnace in Raahe, Finland, certain production disruptions in SSAB Americas, as well as higher raw material costs. The tragic situation with the war in Ukraine is affecting the steel markets and SSAB. We have minor operations in Ukraine through Ruukki Construction and our highest priority is to help our employees and their families.”Operating profit for the first quarter increased to SEK 8,377 (1,993) million. Net cash flow was SEK 2.9 (1.2) billion for the first quarter and the Group had net cash of SEK 5.7 billion at the end of the first quarter.SSAB Special Steels’ operating profit increased to a record high SEK 2,104 (914) million and the operating margin rose to 26.7% (17.8%). SSAB’s high-strength steels support, among other things, our customers’ sustainability strategies and their ambitions to improve productivity and sustainability performance in machinery and other equipment.SSAB Europe’s operating result increased to SEK 3,250 (758) million and the operating margin rose to 25.7% (8.6%). SSAB Americas’ operating profit increased to SEK 2,992 (258) million and the margin rose to 40.1% (7.1%).The outlook for demand and shipments in the second quarter is characterized by some uncertainty, including further issues with component supplies in the vehicle industry as well as bottlenecks continuing to affect logistics chains.In January 2022, SSAB took a policy decision to fundamentally transform the Nordic strip production and to accelerate the green transition. The decision was taken against the background of strongly growing demand for fossil-free steel. The work with the feasibility studies for the planned mini-mills in Luleå and Raahe is proceeding. In April, SSAB’s, LKAB’s and Vattenfall’s joint HYBRIT initiative received official support from the EU as one of seven projects chosen under the Innovation Fund. The grant amounts to a total of EUR 143 million and consists of EUR 108 million for HYBRIT’s demonstration plant in Gällivare, EUR 30 million for SSAB for the conversion of Oxelösund and EUR 5 million for LKAB for the demonstration of fossil-free DRI-pellets production.