(12:52 pm) The Board of Management of SGL Carbon SE determined today, that the forecasted results for the fiscal year 2020 are unlikely to be achieved due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In light of the substantial uncertainty regarding the duration and the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Management is currently unable to provide a reliable sales revenue and earnings forecast for the current year. Consequently, the guidance for 2020 is suspended.
The previous expectation, which guided for a slightly lower sales revenue und a recurring EBIT1 approximately 10-15% below the prior year (sales revenue 2019: €1,087m; recurring EBIT 2019: €48m), was already made conditional by the Board of Management in the management report published on March 12, 2020, that negative effects from the coronavirus were not included, as the outbreak at that time was mainly restricted to China and Italy. In the meantime, numerous other governments have introduced far reaching measures with substantial limitations on the public and economic sectors and leading economists now forecast significant reductions in economic output in key economies.
As already communicated, January and February 2020 developed in line with our previous expectations. However, it has to now be assumed, that initial negative deviations will be visible in March 2020, mainly in the business unit Composites - Fibers & Materials (CFM), which is predominantly affected by the temporary production stops resp. reductions particularly by the German automotive OEMs.
The Board of Management of SGL Carbon has introduced and partially already implemented comprehensive measures to reduce the cost base and to secure liquidity. These measures include the introduction of short-time work, reduction of material and indirect spend, as well as further reduction resp. postponement of capital expenditures. In addition, we are exploring further financing options independent of the capital markets, some of which are already in preparation. The Company is intensively working on identifying and mitigating potential risks.
Highest priority lies in the health and safety of all employees and the safeguarding of liquidity. As of March 31, 2020, liquidity was slightly higher that at year end 2019 (December 31, 2019: €137m).