Marcegaglia to invest €100-120 million per year

Friday, 17 May 2019 13:56:38 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

Speaking at the Made in Steel conference and exhibition event held in Milan on May 14-16, Antonio Marcegaglia, president of Italy-based group Marcegaglia, announced that the group "will spend €100 million to €120 million a year on investments, i.e., more than twice compared to the last few years", thanks to a progressive cutting of its debt during recent years. These investments will involve a new cold rolling mill in Ravenna, two cogeneration plants, digitalization, logistics and efficiency. Marcegaglia is still considering the acquisition of Acciaierie Speciali Terni (AST), with which it would create strong industrial and commercial synergies.

With regard to its results for 2018, the group recorded sales of €5.6 billion and an EBITDA of €386 million for its steel division alone. Despite 2019 beginning amid a slowdown and greater uncertainty, in the first quarter the group's sales volumes grew by 2.5 percent to 1.55 million mt, while turnover increased by three percent to €1.3 billion, year on year. "Sentiment among market players is negative, but I believe that the perception is worse than the reality. The slowdown is not so dramatic if we consider that the first part of last year was very positive," Mr. Marcegaglia stated.

Referring to the European safeguards on steel imports, the president of the Mantua-based group said that the measures are achieving the goal of stabilizing flows: the import of hot coils has increased in Europe, but "at Marcegaglia, we contributed to half of the total of these flows: this is due to the fact that last year we bought slabs from Ilva, but now we are in the import market for slabs". Antonio Marcegaglia stated that he shares the logic behind the safeguard measures, but added that he believes that in the medium-to-long term protectionism is not the correct answer: "Even the positive results recorded in the United States after the application of Section 232 can generate distortions that will weaken the country's economy," he added.

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