Thyssen sees steel consolidation via partnerships - Euro am Sonntag
FRANKFURT Jan 23 (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger told Euro am Sonntag that consolidation in the European steel industry may happen through partnerships rather than takeovers.
Thyssenkrupp plans to play an active role in the process of consolidation, Hiesinger told the paper.
"In my opinion this will not happen through acquisitions, but through partnerships," Hiesinger said, adding that the company's steel business in Europe had managed to double its operating profitability in the year ended September.
The industrial group is sticking to its full-year guidance, Hiesinger said.
"We stand by the forecast," Hiesinger told the German weekly.
In November, Thyssenkrupp forecast earnings before interest and taxes in a wide range of 1.6 billion euros to 1.9 billion euros for the coming financial year, against 1.68 billion euros in 2014/15, adding that sales should be flat on a comparable basis.
Germany's Thyssenkrupp wants to reduce debt and strengthen its balance sheet, Hiesinger told the paper.
The company continues to make progress in its turnaround plan to cut costs amid continued pressure on steel prices. Excluding currency and tax effects, the company made an operating profit at its operations in Brazil, Hiesinger said, adding that a sale of the business was currently not realistic.
Thyssenkrupp had further managed a turnaround of its AST operations in Italy, Hiesinger said. Continuación...