Kloeckner & Co SE (KCO), the German steel trader part-owned by the Knauf family, expects a pretax loss this year because of the industry’s crisis in Europe, Chief Financial Officer Marcus Ketter said.
“For a positive result before taxes we needed a very strong second half,” Ketter said in an interview in today’s Boersenzeitung newspaper. “It is not conceivable.” His comments were confirmed by Christian Pokropp, a Kloeckner spokesman.
Dwindling demand for steel from the auto and construction industries in Europe and increased competition from China have curbed prices and squeezed profit margins as producers grapple with surplus capacity. Kloeckner said in March it forecast net profit for 2013, without giving a figure.
“It just doesn’t improve. I expect a net loss” for 2013, Marc Gabriel, an analyst at Bankhaus Lampe KG in Dusseldorf, said today by phone. Pokropp declined to comment on whether a loss before taxes would mean a net loss.
The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the three months ended June 30 were “in the lower half” of its forecast range of 35 million euros ($46 million) to 45 million euros, Ketter said.
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