EANS-News: voestalpine AG / voestalpine delivers positive operating result (EBITDA) for the first half of the business year 2020/21 despite the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 CNE

11/10/2020, 7:30 AM (Source: euro adhoc)
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Mid Year Results

Linz -

* Revenue fell by 21.9% year over year, from EUR 6.5 billion to EUR 5.1 billion
* At EUR 395 million, operating result (EBITDA) is substantially positive (H1
  2019/20: EUR 666 million)
* At EUR -215 million, profit from operations (EBIT) is negative (H1 2019/20:
  EUR 230 million) due to impairment losses and economic developments
* Profit before tax drops from EUR 163 million to EUR -268 million, and profit
  after tax from EUR 115 million to EUR -276 million
* Strong operating cash flow of EUR 563 million and free cash flow of EUR 281
* Gearing ratio improves from 75.1% a year earlier to 66.2% currently
* 47,917 employees (full-time equivalents, FTE) as of September 30, 2020 (-6.5%)
* Technology segments railway systems and storage systems remain stable,
  automotive industry recovers in second quarter
* Continued declining demand in aerospace as well as oil & gas

The financial key performance indicators (KPIs) of the voestalpine Group for the
first half of the business year 2020/21 were shaped entirely by the COVID-19
pandemic. While the business year's first quarter was characterized by the
massive meltdown in demand in almost all customer segments and regions, the
second quarter saw a considerable rebound in major sectors. Particularly the
European and the U.S. automotive industry but also the consumer goods and
construction industry quickly regained their momentum following the lockdown
measures that had been imposed in the spring. Thanks to rising demand for high
quality steel products, in September voestalpine thus was able to restart the
small blast furnace in Linz, Austria, that it had shut down temporarily. In
regional terms, the Group's plants in China returned the fastest (i.e., during
the business year's first quarter already) to pre-crisis levels of production
capacity utilization. The situation in the aerospace as well as the oil and
natural gas segments, which are hit especially hard by the ramifications of the
pandemic, remained as difficult as before. The technology segments railway
systems and storage systems continued to develop along a solid trajectory in
this highly challenging environment.

"The substantially positive operating result (EBITDA) and the increase in cash
flow show that our consistent cost-cutting and efficiency enhancement programs
have taken hold. At the same time, this performance reflects rebounding demand
in major customer segments during the business year's second quarter. But it
remains to be seen despite positive market signals how the renewed lockdown
measures in Europe will impact the economy," says Herbert Eibensteiner, Chairman
of the Management Board of voestalpine AG.

Development of revenue and earnings

Although the economy recovered incrementally from the economic meltdown at the
start of the reporting period, both revenue and earnings for the first half of
the business year 2020/21 fell far short of those for the same period the
previous year. The decrease in revenue by 21.9% from EUR 6.5 billion to EUR 5.1
billion stems from smaller delivery volumes and lower prices. On the earnings
side, voestalpine succeeded in generating a substantially positive operating
result (EBITDA) of EUR 395 million in the business year's first half despite
extremely difficult market conditions. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19
crisis, EBITDA dropped 40.6%, down from EUR 666 million in the same period the
previous year. In turn, this pushed the EBITDA margin from 10.2% a year earlier
to 7.7% in the current reporting period. The decline in EBIT was much more
pronounced: Apart from the pure operating performance, it was due especially to
some EUR 200 million in impairment losses on assets at voestalpine Texas and
voestalpine Tubulars owing to global market changes that were exacerbated by the
COVID-19 pandemic. In sum, EBIT dropped from EUR 230 million in the first half
of the business year 2019/20 to EUR -215 million in the first half of the
business year 2020/21. Profit before tax fell year over year from EUR 163
million to EUR -268 million, and profit after tax from EUR 115 million to EUR -
276 million. Thanks to intensive measures aimed at cost and earnings
optimization as well as lower investments of EUR 245 million, during the
business year's first half voestalpine generated substantially higher operating
cash flow of EUR 563 million and free cash flow of EUR 281 million.

The gearing ratio (net financial debt as a percentage of equity) improved from
75.1% a year earlier to 66.2% as of September 30, 2020. Equity declined year
over year from EUR 6.0 billion to currently EUR 5.3 billion due not only to the
company's operating performance but also to the impairment losses. Net financial
debt decreased from EUR 4.5 billion to EUR 3.5 billion thanks to good cash flow.

Year over year, the number of employees (FTE) in the voestalpine Group fell by
6.5% to 47,917. In October 2020, about 2,500 employees in Austria, about 1,200
in Germany, and about 1,800 internationally had been registered for short time
work or similar models (particularly Brazil, Sweden, South Africa, France, Great


There has been a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-19 infections in many
areas of the world since the end of the reporting period. In Europe, many EU
member states have reacted by imposing lockdowns of varying severity yet again.
The impact of these measures on economic growth going forward cannot be
prognosticated in detail at the time this report is published. What is certain,
however, is that the uncertainty regarding forecasts of future developments is
much greater now. Against this backdrop, the voestalpine Group will continue to
focus on managing costs and stabilizing earnings. At the same time, our efforts
to manage working capital will remain high and investments will remain low in
order to strengthen the Group's cash flow as well as its asset and capital

It is to be expected in any case even though the situation regarding COVID-19
has intensified that the gradual improvement in the economic environment at the
end of the first half of the business year 2020/21 will continue as the business
year progresses. With the exception of the oil and natural gas sector as well as
the aerospace industry, the positive trend in demand for products of the
voestalpine Group in all major market segments should continue unabated in the
business year's second half. "Assuming that there will be no other major
constraints on economic activity owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as
additional governmental restrictions in this connection, the Management Board
currently forecasts EBITDA of between EUR 800 million and EUR 1 billion for the
entire business year 2020/21," says Herbert Eibensteiner.

KEY FIGURES - voestalpine GROUP


* Before deduction of interest on hybrid capital (where relevant) and non-
controlling interests

The Report of the first half of 2020/21 of voestalpine AG as of the September
30, 2020, may be accessed on the company's website at www.voestalpine.com [http:
//www.voestalpine.com/] under the 'Investors' tab.
In case of questions, please contact the company's Investor Relations team at

Please direct any inquiries to:
voestalpine AG
Peter Felsbach
Head of Group Communications I Group Spokesperson
voestalpine-Strasse 1
4020 Linz, Austria
T. +43/50304/15-2090
www.voestalpine.com [http://www.voestalpine.com/]

Further inquiry note:
Peter Fleischer
Head of Investor Relations
Phone: +43/50304/15-9949
Fax:  +43/50304/55-5581

end of announcement                         euro adhoc

issuer:       voestalpine AG
              voestalpine-Straße  1
              A-4020 Linz
phone:        +43 50304/15-9949
FAX:          +43 50304/55-5581
mail:         IR@voestalpine.com
WWW:          www.voestalpine.com
ISIN:         AT0000937503
indexes:      WBI, ATX
stockmarkets: Wien
language:     English

EAX0002    2020-11-10/07:30

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