In the first phase of our strategy, during 2021–2022, Outokumpu will prioritize de-risking the company through margin improvement, cash flow management and deleveraging the balance sheet. When Outokumpu launched a new strategy in November 2020, the company set financial targets by the end of 2022 to improve EBITDA run-rate by EUR 200 million and to reduce the net debt to EBITDA ratio to below 3.0.
The company has made strong progress in its strategy execution, and in November 2021, Outokumpu announced that with a commitment to continue de-risking the company by the end of 2022, we will increase our initial EBITDA run-rate improvement target from EUR 200 million to EUR 250 million. Deleveraging also continues through the first phase of the strategy beyond the initial leverage target.
To reach these targets, the strategy is centered on strict cost and capital discipline, strong customer engagement and a lean, delayered organization. As part of the strategy, Outokumpu will increase raw material efficiency and operational cost savings while limiting annual capital expenditure to EUR 180 million in 2021 and 2022 through maintenance optimization and strict asset management.
Outlook for Q4 2021
Guidance published in the Q3 report
Group stainless steel deliveries in the fourth quarter are expected to remain at a similar level compared to the third quarter.
The European ferrochrome benchmark price increased to USD 1.80/lb for the fourth quarter.
Higher stainless steel prices are reflected in the already received orders and compensating the inflationary pressures in energy, consumables and freight in the fourth quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2021 is expected to be higher compared to the third quarter.
The Annual General Meeting decided on March 31, 2021 that no dividend will be paid for the financial year that ended December 31, 2020.
Short-term risks and uncertainties
Outokumpu continues to focus on mitigating its exposure to risks which present uncertainties to its business and operations, including but not limited to: impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic; recently increased energy prices; cyber security and information technology; the risk of business interruption at Outokumpu’s production and distribution locations; delays or failures in Outokumpu’s supply chain, such as impacts from the current tense global supply chain situation, including the shortage of spare parts and logistical challenges; dependencies on certain critical suppliers; overall price and availability of critical raw materials and supplies; the realization of credit losses from customer receivables; liquidity and refinancing risks; changes in the prices of ferrochrome, nickel, electrical power, and CO2 emission allowances; currency developments affecting the euro, US dollar, Swedish krona, and pound sterling; negative impacts on the amount of defined pension benefit assets and liabilities; changes in interest margins applicable to Outokumpu; risks related to the fair value of shareholdings, such as the investment in the Fennovoima project as well as general project and investment implementation risks, including the ongoing project at the Kemi mine.
Possible further adverse changes in the global political and economic environment and their impact on demand for stainless steel including severe and lengthened impacts from the vaccine deployment process, possible new virus variants, and uncertainty surrounding the sustainability of the US economic recovery, the global inflation outlook as well as the environmental-social-governance risk, may all have an impact on Outokumpu’s business and access to financial markets.