British Steel has announced profits of £47 million (EBITDA) for the 12 months ending 31 March 2017.
Exactly one year after its launch, since being acquired by Greybull Capital LLP, the company formerly owned by Tata Steel, claims it has 'significantly improved profitability despite a 44% increase in the cost of raw materials. It's a far cry from the £79 million loss recorded in the previous financial year when the Long Products Europe arm of Tata Steel recorded a £79 million loss.
While production volumes and sales were both slightly down when compared to 2015/16 – 2.7Mt versus 2.9Mt produced and 2.5Mt versus 2.6Mt sold – the plan is to produce a sustainable future supported by cost-saving initiatives, product development and market growth going forward. Plans are in the pipeline to invest an additional £40 million in 2017/18. Annual turnover was £1.2 billion.
Roland Junck, British Steel's executive chairman, described the transformation of the business as 'remarkable' and piled praise on 'our remarkable people who have 'embraced, engineered and led change'.
"They are the reason we can today reveal the best financial performance in the long products business since 2007 and they are the reason I have great optimism for the future of British Steel," he said, adding that having taken a 3% pay cut to make last year's sale to Greybull possible, all British Steel employees are now back on full pay again and will receive a 5% stake in the business.
Junck described the business as more agile and no longer 'inward-looking' thanks to cost control, product range and quality improvements and strategic investment. "We have made a small net profit and although it hasn't been easy, an entrepreneurial spirit is starting to flow through British Steel," Junck said.
According to Junck, British Steel is fast becoming the efficient, customer-focused business it needs to be.
British Steel employs 4,800 people in the UK and France and operates a range of businesses in the both countries, including an integrated steelworks in Scunthorpe, UK.