Company News, 2012-01-20, 10:30 AM
13th Annual General Meeting of ThyssenKrupp AG: Evolution into diversified industrial group on track / Portfolio optimization running according to plan / Solid earnings contributions of Technologies units continuing in Q1 2011/2012
ThyssenKrupp is making good progress in implementing the strategic development program launched in May 2011. Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger, Chairman of the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG, will report to shareholders about progress so far at today’s 13th Annual General Meeting at the RuhrCongress in Bochum.
“In the long term we see ThyssenKrupp as a diversified industrial group with several strong businesses in attractive growth markets. This also means that we want to further reduce our dependence on individual businesses and regions. In the future we will be focusing on our technology businesses even more strongly than in the past. Global trends such as population growth, urbanization and globalization provide enormous growth opportunities, which we intend to seize,” Hiesinger will say according to his speech text.
Portfolio optimization running according to plan
To create the financial latitude necessary for investment in growth, ThyssenKrupp’s strategic development plans include an extensive divestment program. The company is disposing of businesses for which there are stronger alternative strategic options. With the sale of the Metal Forming group and the Xervon group, two transactions have already been completed. On December 11, 2011 ThyssenKrupp signed a sale and purchase agreement with UK-based Star Capital Partners for the civil shipbuilding operations of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The approvals under the Foreign Trade Act and the antitrust clearances have already been received. ThyssenKrupp is therefore confident that the closing will take place shortly. The disposal processes for Waupaca and Tailored Blanks are also making progress. For Waupaca, ThyssenKrupp’s US foundry business, promising bids from potential buyers are currently being evaluated. The integration of the chassis businesses has also started. The combination of the Bilstein group with Presta Steering will create a major chassis full-service provider with a global presence and sales of around €3 billion. A small part of this group, the spring and stabilizer business, is also being sold. The Brazilian Automotive Systems business has already been sold to Cosma International, a subsidiary of the automotive supplier Magna.
The divestment of Inoxum, formerly Stainless Global, is also proceeding according to plan. The new brand Inoxum has been launched. The legal, organizational and contractual measures to carve out Inoxum were completed on September 30, 2011. Inoxum is already reported as a discontinued operation in the financial statements of the ThyssenKrupp Group for 2010/2011. ThyssenKrupp is continuing to examine all three options for the disposal of the unit: an IPO, spin-off or sale. The Group is sticking to its timetable to complete the disposal of the unit by the end of 2012.
Growth potential through investment in Technologies businesses
The aim of this portfolio optimization is to reduce ThyssenKrupp’s debt, improve its rating and in the medium term once again open up more financial opportunities for investment. A further objective is to significantly improve the Group’s earnings power.
“In many areas we already lead the way with our engineering expertise and offer intelligent product solutions with which we profit from the big global trends such as population growth, urbanization and globalization,” says Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger. “Around the world there is rising demand for consumer and capital goods, infrastructure, energy and raw materials. But set against these demands for ‘more’ is the finite nature of our natural resources. Global climate change and the ever increasing requirements for energy and resource efficiency and environmental protection make clear that the world doesn't just need ‘more’, above all it needs ‘better’ solutions. With our engineering expertise we enable our customers to meet this demand for ‘more’ in ‘better’ ways and so gain a competitive edge.” To fully leverage these growth opportunities, ThyssenKrupp will be investing more strongly in its Technologies businesses in the medium and long term, focusing on core businesses in which the Group holds leading market positions.
Technologies units deliver dependable earnings contributions
The company’s performance in the 2010/2011 fiscal year confirms the chosen strategy: The Technologies businesses accounted for around 75 percent of the Group’s earnings. But overall these positive earnings contributions were unable to offset the loss at Steel Americas and the effect of the impairment charges. As the start-up difficulties at the new plants in Brazil and the USA have not yet been fully solved, the situation at Steel Americas – as already announced – is not expected to improve appreciably until the second half of the fiscal year. In the medium and long term, however, Steel Americas offers enormous value growth opportunities and great prospects for ThyssenKrupp.
As expected, the Materials and Technologies divisions showed a mixed picture in the first quarter of 2011/2012, for which the Group will be publishing figures on February 14, 2012. Steel Europe and Material Services reported declining volumes and earnings year-on-year. Steel Americas continued to make losses. On the other hand, the Technologies businesses delivered dependably positive earnings contributions. The Group continues to expect first-quarter adjusted EBIT in 2011/2012 to be significantly lower than a year earlier.
“It cannot be reliably predicted how the economy in Germany, Europe and the world will develop in the coming months. Against this background we are currently unable to provide a reliable forecast for the 2011/2012 fiscal year. At ThyssenKrupp we are focusing on the levers we can control ourselves and feel we are well on track with our Strategic Way Forward,” says Dr. Heinrich Hiesinger.