For the steel traders at E/D/E, 2012 was characterised by a good sales situation in terms of volume. The turnover in the steel business division (Union Stahl-Handel) within the Wup-pertal-based association therefore significantly exceeded ex-pectations and climbed by a cool 8.4 percent compared with the previous year, to a new peak value of 884 million euros.
Wuppertal – Even in 2003, steel turnover at E/D/E was 246 million euros. With the exception of the crisis year of 2009, turnover has grown constantly ever since. As early as from 2010 to 2011, Union Stahl-Handel achieved an exceptionally large jump in sales of a good 32 percent and thus significantly surpassed expectations. For 2012, E/D/E budgeted for turnover growth of 5.0 percent to 856 million euros in the steel business division.
The fact that the budget was again outperformed must be “seen as particularly excellent in view of the figures from the previous year,” states Hans-Jürgen Adorf, Chairman of the E/D/E Management Board. “As a result, we are approaching our strategic target of a billion euros in the steel sector in leaps and bounds. By 2015 at the latest, we should have reached this level.” This excellent development has been joined not least by the steel traders gained in the last two to three years, who have given E/D/E the advantage and joined Union Stahl-Handel.
The high demand of the 100 steel traders at E/D/E could largely be ordered from E/D/E contract suppliers. “Many of our members have achieved attractive bonus levels as a result. The payback is having an increasingly positive effect on those involved,” states business division manager Heinz-Alfred Liebig. As a result, many E/D/E members are now taking this concentration into account in their orders of their own accord, which causes the volumes and associ-ated bonuses to rise further.
Despite the convenient volume situation, in 2012, the trade was again unable to bring back into line with costs the stock sale pric-es, which have been ruinous since June 2011. In the overall market, the purchase prices for the principal products of Union Stahl members – bar steel, girders, strip sheets, section tube and structural steel – fell from the second quarter. This trend continued until the low in the fourth quarter. Thanks to its comprehensive market monitoring, E/D/E is able to provide its members with timely forecasts and price information.
With these and other services, Union Stahl-Handel permanently supports the continued existence of its member companies in the market. Around 100 member companies exploit the advantages of this alliance at E/D/E. This includes concentrating the steel de-mand of the E/D/E members in order to maintain attractively priced and productive business relationships in partnership in the long term.
Despite the economic crisis in parts of the Eurozone, Heinz-Alfred Liebig sees no reason for the steel traders at E/D/E to be con-cerned. “The conditions in Germany and particularly among small and medium-sized business are stable,” the business division manager points out. Major key industries have also delivered positive signals: “it must be assumed that housing construction will continue excellently. The automotive industry is able to demonstrate export successes and the same is true for the chemical industry and for machinery and plant engineering.” Union Stahl-Handel is therefore expecting solid growth both for its member companies and for itself.
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