According to the first unaudited data, SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group has generated an income of EUR 707.8 million in 2014, representing a 7% growth compared to 2013. At the same time, the operational earnings have increased significantly, as the net profit before amortisation (EBITDA) has increased by 91% and reached EUR 77.8 million. With an EBITDA margin of 11%, the SIJ Group has been ranked as one of the most successful steel groups of 2013. The estimated operating profit (EBIT) was EUR 39.6 million and it increased by 18 times compared to 2013, and the net profit was just under EUR 25 million, while a loss of EUR 5 million has been generated in 2013.
Besides the measures in the area of production structure optimisation, the Group has been carrying out numerous activities oriented towards the rationalisation of operation, lowering the net financial debt (NFD) and increasing the earnings. The net financial debt of the Group has lowered by EUR 14 million (to EUR 217 million), and the NFD/EBITDA ratio to 2.8 (from 5.7 at the end of 2013). To diversify the long-term financing sources and ensure the optimum liquidity to implement the strategy of development until 2025, SIJ d.d., issued five-year bonds valued at EUR 43 million in November 2014, that have later been listed on the regulated market of the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.
President of the Board of Directors of SIJ d.d. Anton Chernykh believes that the first information about the operating results in 2014 is "a good indicator that the SIJ Group has excellent production and financial foundations to grow and develop further, and to implement the strategy until 2025. The Board of Directors will continue to implement comprehensive measures with the same determination to optimise and rationalise key business processes, increase the production of products with high added value, and ensure the desired financial stability of the Group. At the same time, we will further expand and develop our own service and sales network that will, besides the current key markets (EU, ZDA), effectively cover also the fast growing markets."
In 2014, the operations of the SIJ Group were affected by a continuation of the harsh market conditions. These are increasing the pressures on the basic price of steel products and the most standardised product groups, but the Group is effectively and rapidly adapting to these trends, mainly by developing even more demanding special steels and also by geographical diversification of sales and entering into new industrial sectors.
This is clearly reflected in the first estimations of the increase in export that reached EUR 610 million in 2014 and thus exceeded the export volume in 2013 by 7.3%. Hence the SIJ Group creates as much as 86% of its total revenues from sales by exporting. The EU member states are still the key markets in the export structure, although there has been an increase in the share of other markets, e.g. the US (8% share in the export structure). The above clearly demonstrates the Group’s global competitiveness, which will continue to increase in the coming years based particularly on the increase in the share of products with high added value and the increase of market shares in niche market segments, where demand still remains high regardless of the short-term macroeconomic trends.
Denis Mancevič, PhD
Executive Director for Corporate Communications