Reliance Steel & Aluminum
reported record annual net sales of $11.5 billion last year, up 18.7 percent year over year. Net income totaled $633.7 million in 2018, compared with $613.4 million last year.
“2018 was an incredible year for Reliance, full of significant financial and operational milestones,” said Jim Hoffman, president and CEO of Reliance
. “We experienced improved pricing conditions, healthy demand and excellent execution by our managers in the field.”
Fourth-quarter net sales were up 18.4 percent year over year at $2.8 billion, while income in the quarter decreased 71.6 percent to $85.6 million.
“During the fourth quarter of 2018, demand remained healthy, subject to normal seasonal patterns, and overall metals pricing was relatively stable,” said Hoffman, who succeeded retired CEO Gregg Mollins
at the start of 2019. “Our average selling price increased 20.4 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2017, driven by solid demand and trade actions that supported continued mill price increases throughout the first nine months of the year. However, the absence of meaningful mill price increases in the fourth quarter pressured our gross profit margin from elevated levels in the first three quarters of 2018.”
By product, Reliance sold 4.9 million ton of carbon steel in 2018, up 0.5 percent; 365,300 tons of aluminum, up 0.7 percent; 327,100 tons of stainless steel, up 4.5 percent; and 219,500 tons of alloys, up 0.5 percent.
Looking forward, the company said management is optimistic about business conditions and demand in the first quarter, with tons sold expected to increase 6 percent to 8 percent sequentially.
Reliance management added that the company anticipates price increases for many of the products it sells, citing recent announcements and solid pricing fundamentals supported by current demand, raw material costs and the effects of ongoing trade actions. However, Reliance expects its average selling price per ton sold will be flat to down 1 percent sequentially in the quarter
“Looking ahead to 2019, we remain optimistic about the solid demand environment in nearly all of the end markets in which we operate,” Hoffman concluded. “This, combined with continued healthy pricing, gives us confidence in our ability to continue maximizing our earnings power and increasing value for our stockholders.”