British Steel has returned to profits in just 100 days after it was sold by India's Tata Steel, executive chairman Roland Junck said on Thursday (29 September). He credited employees at the long steel products firm for the turnaround.
This London-based company was re-formed from assets acquired from Tata Steel Europe by Greybull Capital. The business – which is primarily Scunthorpe steelworks – was acquired by the investment firm for £1 ($1.3) and was renamed as British Steel.
In a statement, Junck said, "I am delighted to be able to announce that we have hit our performance targets and returned the business to profitability in our first 100 days as an independent company. These results are testament to the hard work of our employees and their determination to implement the turnaround plan."
Junck, the former chief executive of ArcelorMittal explained that the profits were at an underlying level, before financing costs. "It has gone from making several millions of pounds of losses a month to positive financial results month-on-month," he was quoted as saying by the Guardian.
The company further said that it was on track to return to profits for the financial year ending 31 March 2017. It has 4,800 employees and had successfully completed the first stage of its turnaround plan.
The company had committed to a capital investment of £50m in its annual plan and has added around 270 new employees since 1 June.
The statement from British Steel further said it had received good support from customers as well as suppliers and companies such as Caterpillar, Toyota, Network Rail, Cargill and William Hare were willing to do business with it.
"I believe we are now better placed to capitalise on our strong heritage, vastly experienced and skilled workforce and world-class products. The transformation of our business will make sure we maintain the pace of growth and move forward as an outward-looking profit-making business," Junck said.
With regards to the challenges faced the industry, the chairman said these continue to exist and it was hence in talks with the government. "That is why we are pleased to remain in constructive dialogue with the Government about the strategy needed to support British Steel and ensure that it is operating on a level playing field. It goes without saying that any such strategy must be long-term and cross all political divides if it is to achieve the goals we all share," Junck explained.