German steelmaker Salzgitter has reported an encouraging start to the financial year 2023, followed by a gradual deterioration in the economic environment. The company delivered a presentable H1 EBITDA of € 461 million and earnings before taxes of € 243 million.

Salzgitter’s steel processing and steel production businesses and its technology business unit were key contributors to these figures, according to a recent report from the company.

Salzgitter invested heavily in its SALCOS project. SALCOS stands for Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking but still managed to reduce net debt which declined compared with figures reported last year.

Funding for the SALCOS project has been promised by the German Government and the Federal State of Lower Saxony and will be paid out based on investments made. However, by the reporting date no payments had been received from the funds applied for. “A major part of these investment subsidies was paid in July 2023,” according to Salzgitter.

A downturn in shipment volumes led to a decline in external sales of 12% from 6.6 billion Euros last year to 5.8 billion in 2023 and largely due to a downturn in shipment volumes when compared with 2022 figures and lower average selling prices for many rolled steel products.

“Despite the deterioration in the economic environment, the Salzgitter Group delivered a gratifying half-year result.”

Gunnar Groebler, CEO of Salzgitter

Aurubis AG, which was acquired by Salzgitter in 2008 and is a global supplier of non-ferrous metals as well as being one of the world’s largest copper recyclers, contributed 29.3 million Euros, ‘notably short’, claims Salzgitter, of last year’s 84.3 million Euros, but no reason was given for the drop. Aurubis processes complex metal concentrates, scrap, organic and inorganic metal-bearing recycling materials and industrial residues into metals.

Gunnar Groebler, CEO of Salzgitter, commented: “Despite the deterioration in the economic environment, the Salzgitter Group delivered a gratifying half-year result.”

He said that funding approval of around one billion Euros from the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal State of Lower Saxony had enabled Salzgitter to achieve a significant milestone in implementing its Salzgitter AG 20230 corporate strategy.

Groebler continued: “I am particularly pleased with the very first evaluation of Salzgitter AG by rating agency EcoVadis that was successfully concluded in June,” he said, explaining how the company was issued with a bronze medal. “This award is our motivation for achieving further improvements.”

EcoVadis describes itself as ‘the only universal sustainability ratings and intelligence solution’ and exists to help businesses manage their ESG risk and compliance and meet corporate sustainability goals.