Thyssenkrupp steel unit aims for return to profit in fiscal year 2021/22: WAZ

FILE PHOTO: A ThyssenKrupp steel worker walks next to finished steel coils at the rolling mill department of the German steel maker in Duisburg, Germany, January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp's TKAG.DE steel division aims to return to profit in the 2021/22 fiscal year, encouraged by a recent slight recovery after a slump due to the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the division told a newspaper.

Unit head Bernhard Osburg, however, told WAZ daily that to achieve that return to profitability in the fiscal year beginning on Oct. 1, 2021, the business had its work cut out.

“We are reorganising our plant network and cutting costs also via job cuts. At the same time we need some tail wind from the business cycle. A lot depends on the auto industry,” said Osburg.

The business, which made an operating loss of about 700 million euros ($824.46 million) for the nine months through June, is likely to produce only slightly more than 9 million tonnes of steel this year, down from a recent annual average of more than 11 million tonnes, the executive added.

Of its 27,000 workers, about 15,000 are currently on a government-backed reduced hours scheme and will remain so until at least the end of the year, he said.

($1 = 0.8490 euros)

Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Susan Fenton