STOCKHOLM, Sweden--Regulatory News:
- Sales were SEK 12,499 (15,200) million
- Operating profit before depreciation/amortization, excluding items affecting comparability, was SEK 157 (1,051) million
- Operating profit/loss, excluding items affecting comparability, was SEK -802 (118) million
- Operating loss after financial items, excluding items affecting comparability, was SEK -1,051 (-82) million
- Earnings per share were SEK -1.23 (-2.39)
- Items affecting comparability had an impact of SEK -65 (-1,322) million on the result after tax
- Operating cash flow was SEK 1,788 (1,407) million and net cash flow was SEK 1,481 (728) million
The full year
- Sales were SEK 56,864 (47,752) million
- Operating profit before depreciation/amortization, excluding items affecting comparability, was SEK 3,655 (3,695) million
- Operating profit/loss, excluding items affecting comparability, was SEK -128 (894) million
- Operating profit/loss after financial items, excluding items affecting comparability, was SEK -1,051 (242) million
- Earnings per share were SEK -0.93 (-3.33)
- Items affecting comparability had an impact of SEK -104 (-1,778) million on the result after tax
- Operating cash flow was SEK 3,874 (1,737) million and net cash flow was SEK 2,283 (94) million
- Net debt/equity ratio was 52% (56%)
- Synergy target increased to SEK 1.8 billion with full annual run rate from second half of 2016, which together with other efficiency actions will result in savings in total of SEK 2.5 billion with full impact from 2017 onwards
- A dividend is proposed of SEK 0 (0) per share
Comments by the CEO
SSAB posted an operating loss, excluding items affecting comparability, of SEK 802 million for the fourth quarter of 2015. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2014, earnings were down by more than SEK 900 million. This was primarily due to lower volumes and prices for standard steel in North America and Europe, and to maintenance outage at SSAB Special Steels. Despite weak earnings performance, net cash flow was positive in the fourth quarter, at SEK 1.5 billion, primarily because of lower tied-up working capital. Operating profit for the full-year 2015 were negative at SEK -128 (894) million and net cash flow was SEK 2.3 (0.1) billion. The strong cash flow enabled us to reduce our net debt by SEK 1.5 billion during 2015 and the net debt/equity ratio was 52% (56%) at the end of the year.
The fourth quarter was characterized by a tough market with global overcapacity, volatile prices of raw materials and pressure on steel prices. Falling prices of raw materials and continued high imports from Asia have exerted further pressure on steel prices both in North America and Europe. Customers have delayed orders and reduced their inventories hoping to take advantage of lower prices at the beginning of 2016. Underlying demand for steel was higher than apparent demand and we estimate that volumes will improve in all markets during the first quarter of 2016, once apparent demand aligns with underlying demand.
Synergies of SEK 225 million from the acquisition of Rautaruukki were achieved during the fourth quarter and the annual run rate at the close of the year was SEK 1.1 billion. Realization of synergies is progressing better than planned. Therefore we have raised our synergy target which now amounts to SEK 1.8 billion, with full annual run rate from second half of 2016 and with full effect from 2017 onwards. In addition, we are also implementing other actions and making continuous improvements to lower our costs and improve our competitiveness. In conjunction with this, we have today announced that we plan workforce reductions within our Nordic operations, involving a maximum of 465 employees in total. During 2016, we will through synergies and other efficiency actions reduce costs by SEK 1.25 billion compared with 2015. During the full year 2017, we will have reduced the cost level by SEK 2.5 billion on an annual basis since completing the acquisition of Rautaruukki.
We have set ourselves the objective of achieving leading profitability in the steel industry. We are well placed to do this since SSAB has a unique product offering and have strong market positions in our home markets. We will achieve our objective through a combination of efficiency and growth in chosen segments. SSAB also has the advantage of high flexibility in production, which will enable positive cash flow even during periods of low demand. We have the capability to further reduce production capacity and to carry out structural measures should demand not improve. The steel industry is facing a period of strong head winds, where global overcapacity is exerting pressure on profitability. The measures we are already working on will enable us to create the conditions to improve our profitability and I am convinced that our own actions will enable us to strengthen our position during 2016.
This information is such that SSAB must disclose in accordance with the Securities Markets Act. The information was submitted for publication on February 12, 2016 at 07.30 am.
Invitation to SSAB’s year-end report 2015 results briefing
SSAB invites you to a presentation of the year-end report 2015 at 09.30am CET on Friday February 12, 2016. The year-end report 2015 will be presented by SSAB’s President and CEO Martin Lindqvist, and CFO Håkan Folin.
The press conference will be held in English and live webcast on SSAB’s website www.ssab.com. It is also possible to participate in the briefing via telephone.
Venue and time of briefing: World Trade Center (WTC) Stockholm, Kungsbron 1, Conference room Manhattan, 09.30am CET.
+46 8 505 564 74 (Sweden)
+44 203 364 5374 (UK)
+1 855 753 2230 (USA).
Link to webcast: Go to webcast
SSAB is a Nordic and US-based steel company. SSAB offers value added products and services developed in close cooperation with its customers to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. SSAB has employees in over 50 countries. SSAB has production facilities in Sweden, Finland and the US. SSAB is listed on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm and has a secondary listing on the Nasdaq OMX in Helsinki. www.ssab.com.
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