Economy & Politics

Paul Wurth saw his profits melt away

As a consequence of the pandemic and its impact on the steel industry in 2020, the gains obtained by the now German company have melted from 14.4 million in 2019 to 4.9 million, according to data from the annual report released on Tuesday.

Jean-Michel HENNEBERT

Jean-Michel HENNEBERT

As a consequence of the pandemic and its impact on the steel industry in 2020, the gains obtained by the now German company have melted from 14.4 million in 2019 to 4.9 million, according to data from the annual report released on Tuesday.

Between the glass half full or the glass half empty, the shareholders of Paul Wurth have decided. For their presentation of the 2020 annual report, they opted for the first option since they believe that “the group’s activities have withstood the economic recession triggered by covid-19”.


EVRAZ NTMK Blast furnace 7, Russland, Paul Wurth

With the change of shareholder, do the half-thousand employees of the Luxembourg steel group have to worry about? The unions fear so and ask for a meeting with the Minister of the Economy.


However, with the decline in activity in the steel sector and the elimination of business trips, the group recorded a 15.7% decline in its turnover to 403.7 million euros and a loss of its benefits. Its last rising from 14.4 million euros in 2019 to 4.9 million in 2020.

Despite these data, the group now flying 100% the German flag claims a level of new orders down “only 7.7%” which is explained above all by several large contracts, such as the one signed with the Indian group JSW Steel or the group’s coking plant in Southeast Asia. In total, the level of orders reached 393 million euros in 2020.


06.05.09 Paul Wurth, Gebaeude, rue d alsace. Photo: Gerry Huberty

If the amount of the sale to the SMS group of the shares held by the Luxembourg State remains secret, the Ministries of the Economy and Finance assure that the transaction poses no risk to the employees of the steel company.


Claiming his place in the context of the decarbonization of the steel industry, Paul Wurth is counting on “his offer in innovative technologies” to bounce back. In this case, the “improved blast furnace” via the injection of gas used at the Dillingen or Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann sites in Germany. The group also intends to “invest massively” in the hydrogen sector, with the ambition of making Luxembourg “a global innovation center”.


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