Outokumpu CEO's review
CEO Roeland Baan:
“Our operational performance in the first quarter was solid – delivery volumes were healthy, order intake was strong, and our adjusted EBITDA amounted to EUR 133 million. In Europe, our operational performance was robust, whereas development in the Americas was disappointing due to low realized pricing.
Despite a seasonal increase in working capital, we maintained our net debt level below EUR 1.1 billion in the first quarter.
The US steel tariffs are expected to come into force in the beginning of May. As negotiations around the effective implementation are still underway, markets have been roiled by the uncertainty this brings. One of the tangible effects has been an 8% increase of steel imports into Europe year on year.
Consequently, the European Commission has started investigations on safeguard measures to protect the European steel market. In the US, steel tariffs have already led to higher base prices benefitting our business in the Americas going forward.
In 2018, we are continuing to execute on our six must-win battles with a special focus on improving our delivery performance and efficiency. Despite the current uncertainty in the markets, the demand for stainless steel is expected to stay at healthy levels. With our strong product portfolio, solid balance sheet and dedicated workforce, we are confident that we will reach our 2020 vision.”