Greentech as a profit maker: Thyssen boss praises corporate restructuring

Greentech as a profit maker
Thyssen boss praises corporate restructuring

Many people associate Thyssenkrupp with steel production. But the former core business has been in serious crisis for a long time. The future remains uncertain. Company boss Merz announces groundbreaking decisions with a focus on Greentech products – a profit maker that the group urgently needs.

Thyssenkrupp boss Martina Merz has given shareholders hope that the crisis and the restructuring of the company will come to an end. With the imminent decision on the steel division, Thyssenkrupp is turning into the home straight in realignment, said Merz at the Group's virtual general meeting. However, the renovation will not be reflected in the earnings figures overnight. The traditional group, which has been in crisis for years, wants to score points in environmental technology.

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Maneuvering through difficult times: Thyssenkrupp boss Martina Merz has been at the top of the group since October 2019.

(Photo: imago images / sepp spiegl)

"In particular, we will continuously expand our position in Greentech products", announced Merz. This included rolling bearings for the wind industry and systems for producing hydrogen. In the hydrogen business, the group is examining whether it will drive this forward alone or with partners. "Our electrolysis plants produce green hydrogen on a large scale. Wind turbines all over the world rotate through our slewing bearings." The car components would be used in e-mobility and automated driving.

Loss of elevator business weighs heavily

Thyssenkrupp had parted ways with its elevator business last year under the pressure of high debts and losses – the group's biggest profit maker. Other businesses are being scrutinized, with the future of the steel division in particular causing concern for months. Merz did not want to be looked at here in the cards. "Our primary goal is to make steel fit for the future." The takeover offer from Liberty Steel will be carefully examined. Alternatively, a spin-off or a further development on its own could be considered.

Thyssenkrupp 9.75

Shareholder representatives warned that the losses in the steel division put a heavy burden on the rest of the group. "The steel division has developed into a shadow of itself. The former steel icon is history today," criticized Deka investment expert Ingo Speich. In a European comparison of competitors, the steel division is worst positioned operationally. "One wonders: Can Thyssenkrupp even use steel?"

In the coming months, the group will make groundbreaking decisions, including for the steel division, announced Merz. At first she did not give details of how it will proceed. In many areas, the performance has been improved, explained CFO Klaus Keysberg. Sales in the current 2020/21 financial year will be higher than last, but will still remain below the level achieved before the Corona crisis. Whether a dividend will be paid for the current year cannot yet be said. It is still too early for that. In the coming week, the group will present the figures for the first quarter.

. (tagsToTranslate) Economy (t) ThyssenKrupp (t) Economy (t) Steel sector (t) Industry (t) Environmental protection (t) Electromobility (t) Electric cars (t) Offshore wind power