Press release

LJUBLJANA, 15 June 2023 – SIJ Group’s Management Board issues a statement addressing recent media reports and providing clarifications on the matter.

SIJ Group's Management Board perceives recent media publications as politically motivated, primarily targeting Tibor Šimonka, Senior Vice-President of SIJ Group and President of Slovenia's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. On behalf of the leading economic organization in Slovenia and the government's key interlocutor, Šimonka advocates the collective interests of the entire economy, including SIJ Group. Tibor Šimonka has consistently maintained a clear distinction between his two roles, as evident in his public statements since assuming the presidency of the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Notably, during the energy crisis, the Chamber voiced concerns regarding the challenges faced by companies, the unfavourable competitive conditions for large energy-intensive enterprises, and the higher prices of energy products in Slovenia compared to competing foreign markets. These facts are verifiable and grounded in evidence. Consequently, SIJ Group Management comprehends the nature of certain media publications, which present imbalanced and prejudiced information, primarily targeting the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. To shed light on all relevant circumstances, the following facts are provided for clarification.

SIJ d.d., the parent company of SIJ Group, did not receive any State aid. Hence, in compliance with the regulations, dividend payment conditions, and the Companies Act, the shareholders were entitled to lawfully vote on the resolution to pay the minimum required dividends as mandated by law. The accuracy of this payment was further validated by the Ministry of Economy, Tourism, and Sport in a statement provided to on 13 June 2023.

The decision, proposed by the Management Board and the Supervisory Board, received unanimous approval during the General Meeting of Shareholders held at the end of May, with 100% of the votes cast out of the total of 967,016 SIJR shares participating in the voting process. As a shareholder, the State receives its proportionate share of the distributed dividends. The profits generated by SIJ Acroni and SIJ Metal Ravne, subsidiaries of SIJ Group, and subsequently received by SIJ d.d. in 2022, relate to operating profits from previous years and were disbursed in accordance with the legislation.

In relation to the case of energy aid and dividend payments, SDH, as the minority shareholder of SIJ Group, has publicly disclosed its voting positions, providing an explanation on its official website. The specific criteria determining their stance against supporting dividend payments in 2023 were outlined. As SIJ d.d. did not meet these criteria, SDH was able to extend its support for the dividend payout.

Regarding the year 2022 and the prevailing energy crisis, SIJ Group's Management Board clarifies that it was a period characterized by both heightened product demand and elevated energy prices. Management necessitated considerable adaptability in production, a feat made feasible in the challenging steel industry through substantial past investments. This also included a temporary measure of reducing production volumes, which had to be adjusted also in response to elevated electricity prices. Despite this, energy expenses were still twice as high compared to the preceding year. Without these adjustments, the impact would have been even more pronounced.

The favourable operating results were also attributed to the incorporation of increased input costs into the prices of products destined for global markets.  At the same time, SIJ Group produced lower volumes than in 2021. Last year was an exception rather than the rule in terms of business circumstances, being extremely complex. Therefore, SIJ Group Management Board urges against the publication of generalised information. 

Regarding the allegations of high remuneration of the Group's Management and other allegations that seek to create the impression of the impoverishment of the Group and its companies, we would like to cite a few operating data that confirm the development-strategic orientation of SIJ Group's owners: 

-          INVESTMENTS: The current majority shareholder entered SIJ Group in 2007. Since then, spanning up to and including 2022, SIJ Group has made significant investments amounting to EUR 880 million (equivalent to 81% of EBITDA for 2007-2022). This noteworthy figure underscores the majority shareholder's steadfast focus on development and strategic initiatives. 

-          DIVIDENDS PAYMENT: In the 16 years since SIJ Group has had a new owner, it has been profitable for 13 years. During this period, it generated a profit of EUR 279 million. It has allocated EUR 94 million for dividends (equivalent to 9% of EBITDA for 2007-2022). The remaining EUR 185 million of profits remained unallocated and were used for the development of the company. 

-          TAXES: SIJ Group is a regular payer of all tax obligations in the Republic of Slovenia. Since 2007, it has provided EUR 283 million in taxes and contributions to the State Treasury. 

-          A STABLE AND RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYER: SIJ Group employs 3,800 people. Through careful management and appropriate risk mitigation, the Group weathered the 2008 financial crisis, the coronavirus-related health crisis, and the energy crisis without any redundancies. Throughout the years, SIJ Group has maintained regular salary payments and, in the previous year, provided additional financial incentives to its employees. This year, it has also increased basic salaries within its manufacturing companies in Slovenia. 

-          WITH AN EYE FOR LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND INVESTING IN SOCIETY: The Group has committed EUR 7.5 million to support local communities since 2007, taking into account only sponsorships and donations, excluding other forms of engagement and support to communities (e.g., volunteering, etc.).



SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group is one of Europe's leading producers of stainless steel and special steels. We are committed to global and European climate goals and operate in line with circular economy principles. With our steel and steel products, we are the right partner for facilitating the green transition in Europe. We aim to confirm our sustainability credentials by achieving certification to the stringent ResponsibleSteel standard by the end of 2023. This will position us as one of the world's most responsible and sustainable steel producers. Our two largest companies are modern recycling steelworks, and our steel is recycled because it is made from steel scrap. With more than 3,800 employees, we are one of the largest employers in Slovenia and a pillar of the Slovenian steel sector. We are one of Slovenia's leading exporters. About 85% of our revenue is generated in foreign markets.



SIJ – Slovenska industrija jekla, d.d.

mag. Sara Wagner, Head of Corporate Communications

Corporate Communications

Phone: +386 1 242 98 27

Mobile: +386 41 313 532