SSAB’s operating profit for the third quarter increased compared to the same period in 2021 and amounted to SEK 6.7 (5.8) billion. A weaker European market was compensated by continued strong development in SSAB Special Steels and SSAB Americas. The Group operating profit was down compared with the record level for the previous quarter. SSAB started its first fossil-free steel partnership on the US market, thereby further strengthening the company’s position as leader in the green transition in the steel industry.
SSAB Special Steels’ operating profit increased to SEK 2,411 (995) million for the quarter. The operating margin rose to 28.6% (16.6%). High-strength steel is SSAB’s primary area of growth and it supports our customers’ ambitions to improve productivity and sustainability performance in machinery and other equipment. SSAB Europe’s operating profit for the third quarter decreased to SEK 1,447 (2,524) million and the operating margin decreased to 12.1% (23.4%). SSAB America’s operating profit increased to SEK 3,036 (1,882) million and the operating margin rose to 36.6% (31.1%).
Safety performance continued to improve and Lost Time Injury Frequency (LTIF) decreased to 1.15 (1.90).
Improvement regarding safety performance
The market outlook is uncertain due, among other things, to rising inflation, component shortages and bottlenecks in logistics chains as well as to the falloufurnat from the war in Ukraine. Regarding Europe the market has weakened and SSAB Europe has adjusted production by lower volumes of construction-related products. To reduce capacity in the fourth quarter, maintenance of one of the blast furnaces in Raahe will be brought forward and start in mid-November. The maintenance work is expected to last for 6-8 weeks. The outlook for the markets of SSAB Special Steels and SSAB Americas is considered to be more stable.
Customer demand for fossil-free steel continues to increase. During the third quarter, Volvo Trucks began the small-scale introduction of SSAB fossil-free steel in heavy electric trucks. SSAB started a partnership with Oshkosh Corporation, which will be the first in the US to develop prototypes for commercial vehicles in fossil-free steel.
Feasibility studies for SSAB’s planned mini-mills in Luleå and Raahe are ongoing. The goal is fossil-free steel production in around 2030, but the transition requires sufficient availability of fossil-free electricity in the right place at the right time. It is also key for there to be a level playing field across Europe regarding state aid for the transition.