Economic forecasts became increasingly pessimistic over the course of the first quarter of the business year 2022/23. Due to the dampening sentiment, the voestalpine Group cannot assume a continuation of its earning performance for the remainder of the business year 2022/23 on the record level posted for the first business quarter despite the high amount of order backlogs at the moment. The Management Board of voestalpine AG expects a significant cooling of the economy in the second half of 2022/23, with the corresponding impact on the company’s earnings.
It is to be expected that this will affect especially the cyclical business segments of the voestalpine Group. Besides the flat steel business, this includes in particular voestalpine products that are delivered to the construction, mechanical engineering as well as consumer and white goods market segments. On the other hand, the prevailing positive momentum in the rail technology, energy, and aerospace sectors is expected to continue throughout the business year 2022/23.
While the production output of the European automotive industry still falls substantially short of pre-crisis levels, developments in the reporting period indicate a moderate improvement. Strong order books of the car producers (OEMs) lead us to expect that demand will at least be stable during the remainder of the current business year. By contrast, if the supply chain bottlenecks are resolved, we may expect a marked improvement in demand from this segment.
Based on its current estimates, therefore, the Management Board of voestalpine AG expects EBITDA of about EUR 2 billion for the entire business year 2022/23.
The threat scenario of insufficient supplies of natural gas to Europe as a result of the political tensions arising from the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine has intensified over the past few months. At the time of preparation of this report, sufficient supplies of natural gas are available in Europe. However, the continuation of adequate supplies is the precondition for the outlook presented here regarding the business year 2022/23. Significant disruptions of supply chains are to be expected in many industrial sectors if gas supply in Europe comes to a standstill, if emergency plans go into effect, or if prices force producers to curtail production.
Hence this outlook presupposes that Europe will continue to receive sufficient supplies of natural gas and that other risks, such as the general economic development, supply chain disruptions, developments regarding customer needs, raw materials, and energy prices, that can barely be quantified at this time, remain manageable.