Financial targets and outcome
Earnings in BE Group shall be used to develop the business and generate returns for the owners. The Board of Directors of BE Group has therefore set three financial targets that should be achieved for earnings to be considered adequate. Over time, the goal completion can vary depending on various phases in the Company’s development and the current business cycle.
Sales growth that exceeds the market growth
To measure growth in BE Group’s markets, the market statistics that the company receives for the distribution markets in Sweden and Finland are used. By comparing tonnage growth year on year in this data, the growth in the market is estimated. BE Group’s growth is measured in delivered tonnes in the Swedish, Finnish and Baltic markets. For Sweden, deliveries for the joint venture ArcelorMittal BE Group SSC AB are included. The target is to grow more than the market.
The market is estimated to have decreased by -9.4 percent (0.9) compared to 2018. BE Group had a negative growth of -7.1 percent (2.1) during the year. It is primarily the flat products in the Swedish operations and long and flat products in the Finnish operations that contributed to BE Group’s tonnage decreasing less than the market as a whole.
A profit margin of at least 5 percent
Profit margin is defined as the underlying operating margin (uEBIT%) in the past 12 months. The target level is set to at least 5 percent measured over a longer period of time. This corresponds to approximately SEK 218 M in underlying operating result (uEBIT) at current sales. The underlying operating result, i.e. the operating result excluding the impact of inventory gains or losses and items affecting comparability, is used to put focus on how the operating activities perform and develop.
The underlying operating margin amounted to 2.1 percent (2.4) for 2019.
At least 15 percent return on capital employed
As a measure of return, return on capital employed excl. IFRS 16 is used, defined as operating result excl. IFRS 16 in the past 12 months divided by the average capital employed excl. IFRS 16 (equity and interest-bearing liabilities). The target level is set to at least 15 percent considering the prevailing capital structure and interest rates. The measure is calculated based on recognized operating profit, i.e. including inventory gains and losses and items affecting comparability, to put focus on the actual returns to the owners.
The return on capital employed decreased to 5.6 percent (9.4) during the year. The reason is mainly that the operating result has decreased due to declining sales volumes and inventory losses. The diagram also illustrates an adjusted return where items affecting comparability have been excluded.