In 2021, the Argentine government increased restrictions on the flow of foreign exchange since its foreign exchange reserves reached the lowest levels since 2020. In addition, the country was severely impacted by the pandemic, which increased the challenges of the industrial sector. Despite that, like in the rest of the world, the increased demand for civil construction materials benefited the long steel industry.
Despite the scenario of 50.9% inflation and currency devaluation of 23.2%, Acerbrag had the best performance in its history: net revenue of R$2.1 billion and adjusted EBITDA of R$595 million, a 79% and 63% increase, respectively, compared with 2020.
The good performance was the result of (i) management focus on operational stability and cost control, with a record production volume of 324,000 tonnes in 2021; (ii) higher demand for long steel in the country, driven primarily by continuous activity in the civil construction segment; and (iii) investments in plant modernization totaling R$9.5 million.
With support from the Votorantim Institute, Acerbrag continued to implement its social development plan, focused primarily on education and support for technical schools. The company carried out training sessions for high school seniors in the town of Bragado and extended the program to technical schools in neighboring towns. In addition, through the Ler Foundation, it supported elementary school children and the Model UN program to train young leaders.
As part of its governance structure, Acerbrag has a Steel Committee, made up of the company’s CEO, two executives, and one member of the Votorantim Board of Directors.
In 2021, Votorantim announced the sale of its stake in Acerías Paz del Río, the leader in long steel production in Colombia, to a group of Colombian investors. This transaction is part of Votorantim’s investment and portfolio diversification strategy. In Votorantim’s 2021 consolidated results, Acerías Paz del Río was listed as available for sale.
In addition to Acerbrag, Votorantim holds a 15% stake in ArcelorMittal Brasil’s long steel operations.