By Christoph Steitz and Tom Käckenhoff
ESSEN, Germany (Reuters) -Thyssenkrupp’s operating profit could more than double next year, the submarines-to-steel group said on Thursday, boosted by an economic recovery and turnaround that will likely include listings of its hydrogen and steel divisions.
Adjusted earnings before interest and tax are expected at 1.5 billion to 1.8 billion euros ($1.7-$2.0 billion) in the 2021/22 fiscal year, up from 796 million euros a year earlier, said the conglomerate, which also supplies the car sector.
“After a good two years of intensive transformation work, we can now say that the turnaround is evident. Thyssenkrupp is going in the right direction,” Chief Executive Officer Martina Merz said.
“However, enormous challenges remain, especially due to the semiconductor shortage and the uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic.”
The company, which has emerged from years of losses that forced it to part ways with its elevator division to avert collapse, said it was now preferring to list its hydrogen unit Uhde Chlorine Engineers (UCE) in an initial public offering.
Thyssenkrupp would keep a majority stake in an IPO, it said.
Previous options for the UCE had included a deal with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) or partnering with a strategic or financial investor.
UCE, a 66-34 joint venture of Thyssenkrupp and Italy’s De Nora, is the world’s largest supplier of chlor-alkali membrane technologies used to produce hydrogen. Analysts have valued UCE anywhere between 3 billion to 6 billion euros.
Thyssenkrupp is also studying the conditions that are required for a spin-off of its steel division, Europe’s second-largest, a move previously flagged but dependent on government subsidies to shift the focus towards carbon neutral production.
($1 = 0.8838 euros)
(Reporting by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Riham Alkousaa, Shailesh Kuber and Lincoln Feast.)