SSAB finishes 2021 with record year
By Catrin Jones31 January 2022
High steel prices drive a positive end to 2021 for Swedish steel manufacturer
SSAB has recorded the best year in its history with positive full-year results for 2021 posted by all divisions, due primarily to high steel prices.
The company said its internal performance was also good during the year, with high production stability and improved safety results.
Operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2021 increased to SEK 6,961 million (€664 million) and full-year earnings rose to a record high SEK 18,837 million (€1.8 billion).
Net cash flow was strong and amounted to SEK 12.4 billion (€1.1 billion) for the full year and with net cash of SEK 2.3 billion (€218 million), the group is now debt free.
The product mix was improved during the year to meet the company’s strategic targets. SSAB Special Steels increased shipments to 1.46 (1.13) million tonnes and SSAB Europe increased its share of premium products to 43% in 2021, compared with 38% in the previous year.
The company reported that the outlook for the first quarter of 2022 is positive, despite the uncertainty surrounding the shortage of components, issues in logistics chains and the continuing presence of Covid-19.
SSAB said it has strengthened its position as the driving force in the green transition of the steel industry through the HYBRIT initiative, which the company is driving forward together with its partners. The company said demand for fossil-free steel is showing strong growth and SSAB’s plan is to replace the existing production system with so-called mini-mills, which they hope will result in a broader product programme and improved cost position.
The ambition is to eliminate virtually all CO2 emissions 15 years earlier than the previously announced plan. However, for this to be done, the necessary infrastructure must be in place in time, as well as access to fossil-free electricity.