In the past fiscal year, the SMS Group almost doubled its order intake by 86 percent to 3,507 million euros, thus achieving the highest value in the past ten years. This was due to catch-up effects following the Corona-related slump in the previous fiscal year, but also to rising demand for decarbonization and recycling technologies.
The order backlog increased significantly to 3,944 million euros. As the acceptance of some projects was postponed during the pandemic, sales at the end of the year were 6.8 percent down on the previous year at 2,559 million euros.
Earnings before taxes amounted to 87 million euros. After the pandemic, SMS has thus returned to profitable growth. The extension of the collective agreement for the future and socially responsible staff reductions have led to a sustained reduction in personnel costs in Germany of 75 million euros. Free cash flow improved significantly to 145 million euros, while net liquidity rose to 978 million euros. Capital expenditures also increased year-on-year to 151 million euros.
Technology partner for the decarbonization of the steel industry
With the complete acquisition of blast furnace specialist Paul Wurth in April 2021, SMS has strengthened its position as a technology partner and full-range supplier for the steel industry.
Burkhard Dahmen, CEO of the SMS group: “Almost all industrialized countries have set themselves ambitious climate targets and adopted strategies for the transformation of their steel industries. Today, integrated steel mills produce around 1.3 billion tons of crude steel annually by the conventional route, accounting for 90 percent of the steel industry’s CO2 emissions. These production capacities will have to be transformed in the coming decades. As a systems supplier, we are in a position to provide our customers with comprehensive support in every situation.”
Circular economy as a new growth field
Under the motto “Turningmetalsgreen”, SMS not only supplies solutions for the steel industry, but also develops technologies for the recycling of virtually all metals. A long-term strategic partnership was agreed with copper producer Aurubis in November last year for the development and construction of several modular recycling plants in Europe and North America. With these state-of-the-art multi-metal recycling plants, valuable metals such as copper, nickel, tin, zinc, platinum and various precious metals are recovered from electrical scrap and returned to the value-added cycle.
Environmental technologies for the mobility of tomorrow
The Primobius technology for recycling lithium-ion batteries is recording its first market successes. After the demonstration plant in Hilchenbach is transferred to commercial operation in spring 2022, Mercedes-Benz will be one of the first customers to decide to use this technology. Primobius will build the first industrial plant in Germany at the Kuppenheim site (Baden-Württemberg).
Performance-based payment models on the rise in the service business
SMS is consistently focusing on the expansion of its service business. The three areas of competence Electrics & Automation, Digitization, and Technical Service offer integrated solutions for this, which can increasingly also be paid on a performance basis.
Prof. Dr.-Ing Katja Windt, CDO of the SMS group: “Many customers want to focus more on their core processes and, for example, have maintenance carried out by partners. This is primarily about performance indicators such as efficiency and sustainability. At SMS, we have positioned ourselves in such a way that we can reliably support our customers’ plants throughout their entire life cycle from a single source. The construction of the plant, the commissioning and also the decades of operation including all upgrades and modernizations.”
Investment in Kaefer insulation technology completed
Together with the private equity investor Altor, SMS has acquired 50 percent of the global industrial services company Kaefer Isoliertechnik GmbH & Co KG. The closing took place on May 24, 2022. SMS expects a steadily growing market for industrial services in the coming years and will now work out cooperation opportunities with Kaefer in future fields such as decarbonization, digitalization, energy transition or LNG technology.
SMS expects a steady and significant increase in order intake as well as in earnings in the coming years. Despite the Russia-Ukraine war, order intake for the current year is expected to remain at the previous year’s level.
SMS Group stands for future-oriented technology and outstanding service in mechanical and plant engineering for the metal industry worldwide. The company uses its 150 years of experience and digital know-how to continuously innovate beyond its core business – and generates sales of around 2.6 billion euros worldwide. SMS is the right partner for demanding projects. The company supports its customers throughout the entire life cycle of their plants, thereby enabling profitable, resource-saving value chains. Being a pioneer for a carbon-neutral and sustainable metals industry is the company’s declared goal. As a global player with German roots, SMS assumes responsibility for its approximately 14,500 employees.