Russian steelmaker Severstal, which also has plants in North America and Italy, reported revenue up 41.5% to $13573M in FY 2010 (FY 2009: $9594M) for the Group and EBITDA up 105.3% to $3263M (FY 2009: $1589M).
However, a net loss of $577M resulted for the year, but this was a 44.4% improvement on the $1037M loss in 2009. The operating profit was positive in 2010 at $2504M ($859M in 2009 restated to excluded discontinued operations of the Lucchini and North American disposal groups).
CEO and majority shareholder, Alexey Mordashov, said the Russian Division’s strong performance throughout 2010 reflected higher steel demand, mainly from the domestic market. Crude steel output increased by 16% in 2010 and sales by the same amount to 7.7Mt of rolled products. The highest growth rates were shown in semi-finished products (+67% yoy in volume), cold-rolled sheet (+22% yoy), large diameter pipe (+21% yoy), and hot rolled strip and plate (+16% yoy).
The domestic Russian market accounted for 61% of total revenue of Severstal Russian Steel in 2010. Mr Mordashov said the aim was to increase that percentage in the current year as Russian steel consumption remains below pre-slump levels. He estimates demand for steel will rise by 8% in 2011 driven by key customers in the construction, automotive and oil and gas industries.
Export sales by Russian Steel increased by 25% over 2009. Europe remained the key market, accounting for 17.7% of full year sales, followed by the Middle East, China, Central & South-East Asia, and Africa which together contributed 15.1%. Severstal’s diversified product mix means the Company is able to adjust production and sales to cater for regional and industry trends and produce higher sales and margins.
Several major projects were completed during the year. These include the construction and launch of the Sheksna Pipe Plant close to Severstal’s main Russian steelmaking facilities in Cherepovets. The plant is capable of producing 250kt/y of electric welded pipes and other products for the construction industry. In July, the Gestamp-Severstal-Kaluga Stamping Facility was commissioned in the Kaluga Region, one of the biggest Russian centres of high-quality automotive steel demand. It produces body components for the Volkswagen plant located in the same area. Target annual output is 13 million stamped parts a year. In December 2010, a hot dip galvanizing line with the annual capacity of 400kt was commissioned at the Cherepovets Steel Mill following revamping.
Severstal continues the construction of the Balakovo minimill in the Saratov region (central Russia), with an expected capacity of 1Mt/y upon completion in 2013. The minimill will produce long products for the construction and infrastructure industries.
On March 2, 2011 Severstal North America entered into a definitive agreement with Renco to sell its three integrated works at Warren, OH, Wheeling, WV, and Sparrows Point, MD. Severstal will receive $125M in cash, a $100M as secured note, and the repayment of $317M of third-party debt at closing. Renco will also assume various Severstal financial liabilities including employee-related and environmental liabilities totalling $650M. The transaction is expected to be completed in March 2011, subject to customary completion conditions, including expiration or early termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period.
Severstal retains the Columbus flat products CSP minimill and the Dearborn integrated flat products mill which supply the automotive sector. Sales increased by 26% to $2912M (FY 2009: $2312M) driven by volumes and prices. In FY 2010, Severstal North America generated a positive EBITDA of $86M versus a negative EBITDA of $114M in 2009 on the back of Columbus and Dearborn.
Alexey Mordashov said the company remains committed to operating in North America, which they view as a significant and attractive long term growth market. Though still challenging, the US steel market gradually recovered in 2010. The full year 2010 crude steel output in US increased by 18%, compared to 2009, to around 3.7Mt of rolled products, up 15% on 2009.
In 2011 the total amount of capital investment at Severstal North America will be approximately $465M. A new cold rolling complex and hot dip galvanizing line will be commissioned at Dearborn which will substantially improve processing costs and enable new value-added products to be produced there. At the Columbus thin slab minimill, Phase II of a development will add a further 1.5Mt/y of minimill capacity. Under Phase II a second hot dip galvanizing line will further increase the share of high value-added products.
In Europe, Severstal has a 49.2% stake in Lucchini following the purchase by Alexey Mordashov of a 50.8% stake in July 2010. In February 2011, Severstal signed an amendment to Lucchini’s share purchase agreement cancelling the buy-back call option which allows Severstal to deconsolidate Lucchini starting from Q1 2011 financial reporting.
Severstal Resources produces coal and iron ore and gold. In FY 2010 revenue was up 86.2% to $3484M (FY 2009: $1871M) and EBITDA up 294.7% to $1551M (FY 2009: $393M). In Q4 2010, EBITDA exceeded that of Severstal Russian Steel by $104M. Revenue was up 21% to $1106M (Q3 2010: $914M) and EBITDA increased by 15.4% to $510M (Q3 2010: $442M) with EBITDA margin of 46.1%.
Severstal’s target investment programme for 2011 is over $2bn, which is approximately twice the level of 2009. A significant proportion of this will be invested in Severstal Russian Steel, with the remaining in Severstal Resources and Severstal International (North America).