Italian steel producer Feralpi reported strong operational and financial results for 2019 despite weak market conditions that extended into 2020 in its latest annual report.
Feralpi noted that the industry suffered setbacks throughout 2019 which continued into 2020. During the first two months of this year, production volumes in Italy increased somewhat, with more than 2mn mt of steel output recorded. However, shortly thereafter COVID-19 began spreading and measures taken by the government put a halt to production. The full negative effects of the pandemic have yet to be determined.
Global production rose 7pc during the first two months of 2020, but dropped in the EU, by 9.1pc compared to the same period in 2019. At that time, Germany’s steel production dropped by 10.9pc, although Italy’s production decline was more controlled at 2.3pc.
Feralpi’s steel output remained strong last year due to a 7.9pc increase in rolled products to 2.7mn mt while cold-rolled products increased by 12.9pc to 1.1mn mt. Production volumes were maintained due to healthy operations at its German mills.
Giuseppe Pasini, chairman of the Feralpi Group said the positive outcome for the company in 2019 was due to investments and viable improvements made that were geared toward decarbonization.
The Chairman also noted that the industry, especially in Italy was hurt by COVID-19 in H1 2020. However, Feralpi responded with quick actions to contain the spread. In doing so, the company was able to safely restart its Italian operations meeting market demands while maintaining operations fully in Germany.
Company investments were at 55mn euros ($63mn) in 2019, remaining similar to 2018 investments of 60.6mn euros, in order to continue with its industrial development plan the annual report indicated.
The company produced 2.5mn mt of steel in 2019, a 0.3pc decline compared to the prior year. Overall steel production in Italy was down 5.3pc and declined by 6.5pc in Germany in 2019 compared to 2018, based on data from the World Steel Association.
The company reported revenue of 1.30bn euros, a decline of 1.3pc compared to revenue of 1.32bn euros in 2018, also attributed to German mill performance. Feralpi’s EBITDA also maintained at 125mn euros for 2019 compared to 126mn euros recorded in 2018.
($1 = €.86)