Outokumpu CEO's review

Outokumpu's President and CEO Heikki Malinen commented company's results in Q2/2023 interim review:
Page last updated: 03.08.2023

Our performance in the second quarter of 2023 was solid in the Americas, albeit overshadowed by a softened market in Europe. Adjusted EBITDA amounted to EUR 190 million, while stainless steel deliveries remained modest as expected. During the first half of the year, we generated EUR 394 million of adjusted EBITDA, which is a strong result in the current market environment. I am proud of the fact that during the weakening market conditions we have kept our balance sheet the strongest in the industry.

We have successfully de-leveraged the company so that it is better positioned for the downturns that are part of the cyclical stainless steel business. After two exceptionally strong years, we are now in a weaker part of the cycle. Today, with our strong balance sheet, Outokumpu has the resilience to withstand even more challenging market conditions.

The execution of the second phase of our strategy has progressed well and we have started the preparations for the third phase commencing in 2026. In the second phase we are making the most out of our current asset base. In the third phase the focus will be on Americas expansion, European competitiveness, value-chain integration and sustainability leadership.

In the second quarter, the market environment in Europe weakened faster than expected and negatively impacted business area Europe’s profitability already at the end of the quarter. Stainless steel deliveries decreased from the previous quarter and adjusted EBITDA amounted EUR 52 million. In business area Ferrochrome, we ramped up our production back to normal levels in the second quarter and adjusted EBITDA increased to EUR 36 million.

Business area Americas once again delivered very strong results. This demonstrates the benefit of having a geopolitically diversified business. Stainless steel deliveries for business area Americas increased from the previous quarter and adjusted EBITDA reached EUR 110 million. This is a result to be proud of.

We have successfully turned around our business in the U.S. and aim to strengthen our position further in this attractive market with a favorable regulatory environment. We want to capture a fair share of the increasing demand for the locally produced sustainable stainless steel. As a result, we are conducting a feasibility study to investigate options to expand our operations in the U.S. We seek to increase our cold rolling capacity and at the same time investigate different options for our hot rolling arrangements. One option is to build our own hot rolling mill and we are in a good state of readiness to make a final investment decision as need be.

In the second quarter, we also had changes in our management as Marc-Simon Schaar was appointed Chief Procurement Officer and a member of Outokumpu Leadership Team. This role is crucial in strategically managing our cost base, inflationary impacts and sustainability actions, as well as ensuring effective relationship management. Our supply chain is at the core of our decarbonization journey and our ethical approach to sourcing. We want to ensure that Outokumpu’s stainless steel is made of raw materials with the lowest possible CO2 emissions. In the second quarter, we kept our recycled material content at a very strong level of 94%.

The market environment, especially in Europe, is expected to be challenging in the third quarter. However, we have great teams in place and a strong balance sheet, and this gives me confidence that we will manage the changing conditions also in the future."