In the first nine months of the business year 2020/21, the performance of the voestalpine Group was strongly shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the business year’s first quarter was characterized by the massive meltdown in demand in almost all customer segments and regions, the second quarter saw a considerable rebound in major sectors. Upward trends in key business segments continued in the third business quarter despite renewed lockdowns. The automotive industry, in particular, gradually recovered following the production shutdowns during the Northern spring, once again returning to order levels during the Northern fall that equated roughly to those prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The construction, consumer goods, and white goods industries also managed to rapidly return to pre-COVID-19 order levels (the last two did well even during the difficult first business quarter). Conditions in the aerospace industry as well as in the oil and natural gas sector remained difficult, however. The railway infrastructure technology segment developed along a stable, positive trajectory during the entire reporting period. The high-bay warehouses customer segment also posted highly satisfactory performance. Thanks to the growth in online commerce, this unit posted record order levels in Europe and North America (key markets both) during the Northern fall.
Revenue fell by 16.8% year over year, from EUR 9.6 billion to EUR 8 billion
At EUR 683 million, operating result is substantially positive (Q3 2019/20: EUR 837 million)
At EUR –134 million, profit from operations (EBIT) is negative (Q3 2019/20: EUR –82 million) due to impairment losses
At EUR –159 million (Q3 2019/20: EUR –160 million), profit after tax affected by impairment losses as well yet stable
Outlook - The number of COVID-19 infections rose dramatically yet again in most of the world during the third quarter of the business year 2020/21. Individual states in Europe reacted yet again with lockdowns; even in the United States restrictions were imposed on public life. Given the circumstances, so far none of these measures have had material adverse effects on the economic recovery of those markets that are relevant to the voestalpine Group. However, the uncertainties about economic developments going forward have risen sharply. It is completely unclear to date how the expansion of limitations on commerce will affect the consumption of European products. The risk of downtimes in production or of interruptions in essential supply chains owing to the pandemic cannot be predicted at this time. In no small part, this is why voestalpine’s management continues to focus on cost management and earnings stabilization. Its efforts with respect to working capital management and curtailment of investments in order to buttress both cash flow and the Group’s asset and capital structure will continue as well. Several positive developments occurred after the end of the reporting period above and beyond central banks’ clearly supportive monetary policies in the world’s major economic regions. First and foremost, the medicines regulatory authorities of many countries have licensed vaccines against the COVID-19 virus, and campaigns to immunize the public have been launched. Assuming that there will be no new major restrictions on economic activity and/or state-ordered measures owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Management Board currently forecasts EBITDA of about EUR 1 billion for the entire business year 2020/21 and thus an amount at the upper end of the previously communicated range.