Capital market-relevant press releases Nov 13, 2009 1:01 PM
ThyssenKrupp in fiscal 2008/2009
At the end of 2008 and well into 2009 the world economy experienced its deepest recession since the end of World War II. This global downturn hit ThyssenKrupp hard. The Group took resolute countermeasures. Executive Board Chairman Dr. Ekkehard Schulz: "With these measures we have created in the past fiscal year a solid basis for emerging from the crisis stronger and – as soon as the economy returns to growth – building on the success of previous years." Restructurings, portfolio optimizations and a further reduction in costs will in the future – as in the past – remain the key challenges to keep ThyssenKrupp profitable on a sustainable basis.
The key data for the 2008/2009 fiscal year:
･ Order intake: €36.0 billion
･ Sales: €40.6 billion
･ EBITDA: €192 million
･ Earnings before taxes: €(2,364) million
･ Earnings before taxes and nonrecurring items: €(734) million
･ Earnings per share: €(4.01)
･ Operating cash flow: €3,699 million
･ Net financial debt: €2,059 million
At September 30, 2009 the Group had over €9.8 billion in cash, cash equivalents and available credit lines and therefore has sufficient liquidity.
The key data for the 4th quarter:
･ Order intake: €7.5 billion
･ Sales: €9.9 billion
･ EBITDA: €(534) million
･ Earnings before taxes: €(1,377) million
･ Earnings before taxes and nonrecurring items: €(332) million
･ Earnings per share: €(2.28)
･ Operating cash flow: €1,745 million
The 2008/2009 fiscal year was the most difficult in ThyssenKrupp's history. The global economic downturn made a deep impact on almost all markets of importance to ThyssenKrupp. The severity with which the crisis hit the Group is illustrated in particular by the situation in three sectors: German crude steel production will fall to approx. 32 million tons in 2009, the output of German carmakers will be almost 20% lower than the year before. Germany's mechanical engineering industry recorded a dramatic decline in order intake after many companies reviewed their investment decisions and cancelled or postponed numerous modernization and capacity expansion projects. Growing signs of a bottoming-out only started to appear towards the end of the fiscal year.
In this environment ThyssenKrupp's sales plummeted to €40.6 billion in fiscal 2008/2009 (prior year: €53.4 billion). Earnings before taxes fell to €(2,364) million (prior year: €3,128 million), due in considerable measure to nonrecurring items – in particular restructuring expenditure, impairment charges and project costs for the new steel production and processing facilities in Brazil and the USA. Earnings before taxes and nonrecurring items amounted to €(734) million. In the 4th quarter earnings before taxes came to €(1,377) million and €(332) million before nonrecurring items. In addition to the nonrecurring items mentioned, the sharp fall in prices for materials led to inventory writedowns and asset losses of around €1.2 billion which also weighed heavily on earnings.
Against the background of the difficult economic situation, the number of employees also decreased significantly. On September 30, 2009 ThyssenKrupp employed 187,495 people worldwide, 11,879 or 6% fewer than at the end of the previous fiscal year. The headcount in Germany was around 5% lower at 81,229. Outside Germany the number of employees fell by 7% to 106,266.
In view of the low workloads, short-time working had to be introduced at many of the Group's subsidiaries. In fiscal 2008/2009 12,500 employees were affected on average in Germany and a further 7,300 abroad. The main segment affected was Steel, where almost 8,000 employees worked short hours. For cyclical reasons short-time working was reduced to 14,500 employees by the end of the fiscal year.
Dr. Ekkehard Schulz: "With all personnel cutbacks one thing has always been important to me: We decided all the key measures in agreement with the employee representatives after in some cases heated discussion. Competitive strength, future viability and social responsibility must not be mutually exclusive. At ThyssenKrupp we have shown that they can be reconciled even in difficult times."
･ Steel: Order intake was down 41% year-on-year at €8.4 billion. Sales decreased by 31% to €9.9 billion. In both cases the declines were mainly volume-related. The segment's loss of €486 million – following a profit of €1,540 million a year earlier – was also mainly the result of the slump in shipments. Only towards the end of the fiscal year were there signs of a stabilization of volumes in the stock cycle. However, inventory writedowns and asset losses of around €290 million were necessary. Earnings were further impacted by the costs for the construction of the steel production and processing facilities in Brazil and the USA (€214 million) as well as restructuring expenses and impairment charges (€266 million). On September 30, 2009 Steel employed 39,156 people (September 30, 2008: 41,311).
･ Stainless: Against the background of the global fall in demand, the segment's business situation deteriorated severely in 2008/2009. Lower volumes, base prices and alloy surcharges caused orders to slip by 44% to €4.1 billion, while sales decreased by 40% to €4.5 billion. The segment's earnings fell drastically by €1,072 million to €(946) million. The main reasons were extreme underutilization of production capacities and the sharp fall in base prices. Only towards the end of the fiscal year did an improvement in workloads and base prices help contain the losses. Earnings were also impacted by restructuring expenses, impairment charges and project costs for the stainless steel mill in Alabama in the amount of €197 million and inventory writedowns and asset losses of around €430 million. On September 30, 2009 Stainless employed 11,755 people (September 30, 2008: 12,212).
･ Technologies: Order intake in the Technologies segment declined as a result of order cancellations at the shipyards, dramatic falls in orders in the automotive and construction machinery sectors, and uncertainty and delays in plant construction. At €8.6 billion, orders were significantly lower than a year earlier (€13.5 billion). Sales also fell by 14% to €10.6 billion. Nonetheless, orders in hand at September 30, 2009 continue to secure more than a year's sales. Following record profits of €741 million a year earlier, the segment reported a loss of €868 million. This mainly reflected restructuring expense of €431 million and impairment charges of €370 million, above all at the shipyards and the automotive operations. On September 30, 2009 Technologies employed 49,056 people (September 30, 2008: 54,043).
･ Elevator: The segment continued its positive performance in 2008/2009. As a result of the global economic crisis, order intake fell short of the high prior-year level, slipping 9% to €5.0 billion. But sales and earnings improved significantly and reached new record levels. Thanks to the high level of orders received for new installations in the prior year and the strong performance of the service and modernization business, sales were up 8% to €5.3 billion. Despite restructuring expense and impairment charges of €34 million, profits climbed by 29% to a record €558 million. This success is the result of volume increases and efficiency enhancements, especially at the US operations. On September 30, 2009 Elevator employed 42,698 people (September 30, 2008: 42,992).
･ Services: Order intake at Services amounted to €11.2 billion in 2008/2009. Sales decreased year-on-year by 31% from €17.3 billion to €11.9 billion. The reporting year was characterized by sharp declines in volumes and prices. It was not until the end of fiscal 2008/2009 that the situation showed signs of stabilizing at a low level. The segment made a loss of €271 million, its worst ever result, caused mainly by the high earnings fall in the materials business. Writedowns on inventory and asset losses totaling around €333 million had to be recorded at September 30, 2009. Restructuring expense of €95 million additionally weighed on earnings. On September 30, 2009 Services employed 43,235 people (September 30, 2008: 46,486).
ThyssenKrupp responded to the crisis with three central action packages: Measures to safeguard liquidity and earnings, programs to restructure and adjust capacities and the portfolio, and the implementation of the Group reorganization.
Safeguarding liquidity and earnings: Under the TK PLuS program a number of measures with short-term effect were carried out to reduce costs in the past fiscal year. The original target of over €1 billion was significantly exceeded, with savings of €1.8 billion realized, of which €0.8 billion will have sustainable effect.
In addition, net working capital was reduced by around €4.4 billion by September 30, 2009. Alongside a substantial reduction in inventories, receivables management was optimized in all areas of the Group. As a result, despite reporting a loss ThyssenKrupp generated an operating cash flow of €3,699 million, which is actually a slight improvement on the previous year (€3,679 million).
All investment projects were examined and analyzed for possible reductions and postponements. This reduced capital expenditure to €4.2 billion in the reporting year, around €1.6 billion less than originally intended.
The rise in net financial debt was significantly contained: It increased only from €1,584 million at September 30, 2008 to €2,059 million (September 30, 2009). In the 4th quarter 2008/2009 net financial debt was reduced by €1,063 million.
The Group's liquidity situation was also further improved by successful bond transactions: In the past fiscal year bonds with a total volume of €3 billion were issued. At September 30, 2009 the Group had €9.8 billion in cash, cash equivalents and available credit lines. ThyssenKrupp therefore has sufficient liquidity.
Programs to restructure and adjust capacities and the portfolio: All segments introduced and implemented restructuring measures to flexibilize and optimize their capacities.
The main restructuring measures in detail:
･ Steel combined ten initiatives of ThyssenKrupp Steel AG in its 20/10 program aimed at safeguarding its competitiveness. Under this program, sustainable savings of more than €400 million are to be achieved by the 2010/2011 fiscal year. This will also involve a personnel cutback affecting up to 2,000 employees.
･ The Group has not changed its plans to implement its strategic investment projects to build carbon and stainless steelmaking and processing facilities in Brazil and the USA, but is responding flexibly to the changed economic conditions: The ramp-up of the iron and steel mill in Brazil has been adapted in line with lower demand expectations. The first production line will start operation with one blast furnace and one converter in mid 2010; as things stand today, the second production line with the second blast furnace and the second converter is expected to be ramped up in 2011. Planning is being kept flexible to enable a quick response to possible market changes.
Construction work on the new steel making and processing plant near Mobile in Alabama/USA is largely on schedule, and production will commence in the 2nd quarter of 2010. Capacities are being ramped up over an extended period and are thus being flexibly adapted to steel demand. Until the 2nd quarter of 2011, the slabs to be processed will come from Germany.
A flexible approach is also being taken to the startup of the US stainless steel mill. Production will begin in October 2010, initially with a reduced cold-rolled capacity of around 100,000 metric tons per year. The other units for stainless steel products will be started up over an extended period, with flexible ramp-up guaranteed at all times. The same applies to startup of the melt shop, which was planned for early 2012 and can now be delayed by up to 24 months.
･ The Brazilian iron ore producer Vale S.A. has increased its shareholding in ThyssenKrupp CSA Siderúrgica do Atlântico Ltda. – the Brazilian steel mill subsidiary – to just under 27% through a capital increase of €965 million. This step confirms the value of the investment and the stability of the industrial strategy. It strengthens the basis for a long-term strategic partnership between Vale and ThyssenKrupp. At September 30, 2009 Vale had already paid around half this amount, with the remainder to follow in the 1st quarter of fiscal 2009/2010.
･ Under its stand-alone strategy, Stainless is working intensively on programs and measures aimed at creating further flexibility in production processes and workflows. This will enable Stainless to respond swiftly to changes in demand and adapt capacity utilization accordingly. For example, from January 2010 the number of shifts worked per week at the German ThyssenKrupp Nirosta plants will be reduced from 21 to an average of 18. In the course of this reduction, 300 jobs will be cut by socially compatible means.
･ At Technologies, declining demand and overcapacities had a substantial impact in particular on the civil shipbuilding operations and the international automotive business.
In the future, Marine Systems will focus more strongly on its leading global position in naval shipbuilding. For the Emden and Hamburg sites, which are mainly involved in civil shipbuilding, viable cooperative ventures are currently being implemented which will safeguard jobs and reduce the risk of capacity underutilization. In Emden, the wind turbine manufacturer SIAG Schaaf Industrie AG will use the site to produce components for offshore wind energy facilities and thus make a contribution to structural change in the region. In Hamburg it is planned to sell an 80% interest in each of the companies Blohm + Voss Shipyards, Blohm + Voss Repair and Blohm + Voss Industries to the Abu Dhabi MAR Group. In naval surface vessel construction, which remains a core business of Marine Systems, a joint venture with Abu Dhabi MAR is planned. This will significantly improve the marketing prospects for frigates and corvettes, above all in the Middle East and North Africa.
Due to outstanding payments of some €500 million, Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) and Hellenic Shipyards (HSY) canceled the existing submarine construction programs for the Greek government. Discussions are currently being conducted with the new Greek government aimed at finding a solution to the problem.
Due to the dramatic fall in demand for its automotive activities, Technologies has also initiated measures to adapt capacities, relocate production and close sites. The biggest measures relate to the Forging Group, which produces crankshafts in Germany, France, Brazil and the USA, as well as foundries – e.g. for brake and drum castings – in the USA.
In the past fiscal year, Technologies incurred restructuring expense and impairment charges totaling €801 million. Restructuring expense and impairment charges create the basis for future profitability.
･ At Elevator, significantly lower volumes in the escalator business made it necessary to introduce restructuring at the Hamburg escalator plant. Overall, Elevator had to absorb restructuring expense and impairment charges of €34 million.
･ Over the full fiscal year, Services made provisions for restructuring measures in the amount of €95 million. Around €70 million of this related to the closure of over 30 sites in the Material Services International business unit and the reorganization of the plastics and nonferrous metals operations.
To further strengthen its focus on core business, Services also disposed of ThyssenKrupp Industrieservice at the beginning of October 2009. The company is one of Europe’s biggest industrial service providers with over 9,000 employees and sales of around €330 million (fiscal year 2008/2009). The purchase contract with facility management service provider WISAG has been signed: ThyssenKrupp expects the deal to be closed in the 1st quarter of the current fiscal year.
The sale of the North American Safway group, a leading company in the area of scaffold services in the USA and Canada with sales of US$715 million in fiscal 2008/2009, was also initiated. The sale process is ongoing. Discussions are making good progress.
These disposals will bring the reorganization of ThyssenKrupp’s industrial service operations to a close.
The disposal process for the ThyssenKrupp Xervon group has been stopped by the Executive Board of ThyssenKrupp AG. During divestment talks, none of the bidders was able to present a coherent best-owner and financing strategy which took adequate account of the interests of employees, customers and the ThyssenKrupp Group as seller. The Xervon group with its 8,000 employees at over 40 locations worldwide will be retained as an independent unit in the new Materials Services business area.
Reorganization of the Group: The third key measure to deal with the current crisis was the introduction of a new organizational structure in the Group effective October 01, 2009.
The new structure is represented by three core elements: The new strategic corporate headquarters, the eight operating business areas combined in two divisions – Materials and Technologies – reflecting ThyssenKrupp’s core competency areas, and ThyssenKrupp Business Services. The new corporate headquarters consolidates the Group’s strategic and steering tasks and allows the business areas to concentrate on their operating business. The business areas will be strengthened through their direct ties to ThyssenKrupp AG. They will move closer to the corporate center, as the former segment holding companies have been eliminated. ThyssenKrupp Business Services and ThyssenKrupp IT Services are the service units which from October 01, 2009 provide one-stop services for the entire Group, i.e. Group companies, business areas and corporate headquarters.
Dr. Ekkehard Schulz: “The reorganization will allow us to act with greater speed and flexibility on the global markets; it also makes internal decision-making processes shorter and more transparent. Operational management of the Group will be more decentralized and strategic management more centralized. Starting with the new fiscal year, our business operations are combined in eight business areas which are tied directly to corporate headquarters; the former segment holding company level has been eliminated. Initial experience in various parts of the Group has been positive and speaks clearly in favor of the new organizational structure.”
The annual administrative costs of €2.5 billion are to be reduced by 20% worldwide. The new structure will make an important contribution to this. The savings will consist of both material and personnel costs. For example, the Groupwide optimization of IT costs will lower material costs. Operating efficiency in the area of purchasing will improve significantly. The lower administrative costs will allow the reduction of 2,000 to 2,500 jobs.
The sustainable measures under TK PLuS, the programs aimed at restructuring and adapting capacities and the portfolio, and the implementation of the new organizational structure will result in significant and sustainable savings for the Group as a whole. The full amount of €1.5 to €2 billion will come into effect from the 2010/2011 fiscal year.
In the past ThyssenKrupp has always valued dividend continuity. In good years for the Company, an appropriate but moderate dividend was paid to stockholders. As a result of this judicious dividend policy, it has also been possible to pay out a dividend in less successful years. A dividend policy of this kind is in the interests of all stockholders. On the basis of the annual financial statements of ThyssenKrupp AG, the Company’s Executive Board has therefore decided to propose to the Supervisory Board the payment of a dividend of €0.30 for the 2008/2009 fiscal year. The Supervisory Board will resolve on this proposal in its meeting on November 26, 2009 and put it to the vote at the Annual General Meeting on January 21, 2010.
Looking forward to fiscal 2009/2010, ThyssenKrupp feels the currently emerging economic recovery is still fragile.
Dr. Ekkehard Schulz: “We anticipate that sales will stabilize in fiscal 2009/2010. Earnings are expected to improve significantly and return to profit, thanks in no small part to the cost-cutting programs we have introduced.”
Adjusted earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT adjusted for nonrecurring items) will probably be in the high three-digit million euro range. Adjusted earnings before taxes (EBT adjusted for nonrecurring items) are expected to be in the low three-digit million euro range. Adjusted EBT will be significantly impacted by project costs and startup losses in the Steel Americas business area in the mid three-digit million euro range.
Expectations for the individual business areas are as follows:
･ Steel Europe– Improvement in volumes and capacity utilization, average revenues below prior-year level
･ Steel Americas– Negative EBT contribution in the mid three-digit million euro range due to project costs and startup losses for the steelmaking and processing plants in Brazil and the USA
･ Stainless Global– Stabilization of volumes with improved base prices
･ Materials Services– Stabilization of volumes and revenues
･ Elevator Technology– Continued high earnings contributions thanks to strong order backlog and stable modernization and maintenance business
･ Plant Technology– Good revenues and earnings expected from project business due to order backlog with good earnings quality
･ Components Technology– Continued difficult environment for automotive and construction machinery supplies, positive earnings contribution from slewing bearings for the wind energy sector
･ Marine Systems– Improved earnings quality through initiated consolidation of shipyard sites
In 2010/2011 ThyssenKrupp expects an improvement in the overall economic environment and further positive effects from its cost-cutting programs. This will have a corresponding influence on sales and earnings.