ThyssenKrupp profits squeezed as restructuring drags on

BERLIN (AFP) – German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp yesterday reported slumping operating profits in October-December while locked in a struggle to free itself from years of crisis.

The floundering steel division plunged into the red in the first quarter of its 2019-2020 financial year, helping drag Thyssenkrupp’s adjusted operating profit down 77 per cent year-on-year to EUR50 million (USD54 million).

“Continuing weak sales on the world’s biggest market China” also weighed on the group’s car components division.

And the group-wide bottom line showed yet another net loss, although Thyssenkrupp also reported stable revenues and order intake only slightly down on late 2018.

“The latest figures are not great. But we are convinced that we are on the right track,” Chief Executive Martina Merz said in a statement. She reiterated that a decision is “imminent” on whether to sell off or float on the stock market the highly profitable elevators business, which bosses hope will provide a cash injection of up to EUR15 billion to pump into the weaker divisions.

Finnish competitor Kone is top of the list of potential buyers, and has said it bid EUR17 billion for the lifts unit.

Thyssenkrupp, whose products range from raw steel to submarines and construction materials, booked a net loss of EUR304 million in its 2018-19 full year.

Bosses said yesterday they hope to bring in operating profits around last year’s level of EUR802 million in 2019-20, but said the bottom line would show a “significantly higher net loss” as costs for restructuring measures pile up.

German industrial conglomerate ThyssenKrupp plunged into the red in the first quarter of its 2019-2020 financial year, helping drag it’s adjusted operating profit down 77 per cent year-on-year. PHOTO: AFP