April 30, 2019 / 8:00 AM / 7 months ago

Voestalpine steps up cost cuts as business climate worsens

DUESSELDORF, Germany, April 30 (Reuters) - Austrian steel producer Voestalpine is preparing for a weaker economic environment during its 2019/2020 fiscal year, its chief executive said, adding the company was implementing further programmes to cut costs and increase efficiency.

“It’s no secret that we’re preparing for a much worse economy,” Voestalpine CEO Wolfgang Eder said at an event in Duesseldorf late on Monday, citing fears of a slowdown in the global automotive industry, uncertainties regarding new emissions tests and demand in China plus trade tensions with the United States.

Voestalpine likely achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 1.55 billion euros ($1.73 billion) and earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) of 750 million euros during the 2018/2019 business year which ended in March - in line with previously revised targets, Eder said.

Eder is due to present the company’s 2018/2019 results in June before stepping down in July after 15 years at the helm.

Eder also said Voestalpine would not take part in any consolidation of the steel industry and he was not interested in buying any stakes in Thyssenkrupp or Tata Steel Europe . ($1 = 0.8941 euros) (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff Writing by Tassilo Hummel Editing by Michelle Martin)

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