Year-end Report 2022: Profits strong but continued uncertainty going forward

February 13, 2023

LKAB is reporting operating profit for full year 2022 of nearly SEK 21 billion, representing an operating margin of 45 percent. This despite increased costs from factors such as higher energy prices and disruptions in production.

Net sales for full year 2022 amounted to MSEK 46,543 (48,812) and were impacted mainly by lower prices for highly upgraded iron ore products and lower delivery volumes; these were offset, however, by a strong dollar exchange rate. For the fourth quarter net sales amounted to MSEK 9,949 (9,064), with a higher dollar rate compensating for lower delivery volumes. 

Operating profit amounted to MSEK 20,799 (26,898) for the full year and MSEK 2,673 (2,815) for the quarter. Operating profit for both the full year and the quarter was affected by higher costs, mainly linked to production disruption and to prices for energy and some feedstocks. 

The Board of Directors is proposing to the Annual General Meeting that an ordinary dividend of MSEK 7,540 (12,430) is paid, which is 50 percent of profit for the year.

The delivery volume decreased somewhat as a result of lower production volumes, and amounted to 25.8 (27.0) Mt for the full year and 6.4 (6.8) Mt for the quarter. Production has remained affected by disruptions at the pelletising plants in Kiruna where measures are being taken to increase production stability. Production volumes amounted to 25.0 (26.7) Mt for the full year and 6.3 (6.7) Mt for the quarter.

The global spot price for iron ore products remained at a high level and at the end of the year was USD 117 per tonne after recovering from a low of around USD 80 per tonne. The average price was USD 120 (160) per tonne for the full year and USD 99 (110) per tonne for the quarter. Quoted pellet premiums were lower than in the previous quarter but are still at a higher level than in the same period last year. 

Transforming to enable fossil-free steelmaking 
LKAB is continuing its journey towards being a supplier of sponge iron, so that in the future we can provide our customers with the raw materials for fossil-free steel. This transformation involves various challenges such as permit matters, energy supply and current external factors, as it is essential that our initiatives are implemented profitably. 

“The current situation has reinforced the need for our transformation, but we are seeing progress increasingly at risk since the complexity has increased in the short term. Industrialising new technology involves managing complex risks. One example is energy supply, where decisions have not yet been made that will help market actors expand electricity production so that supply meets future demand – thereby keeping prices down,” says Jan Moström, President and CEO LKAB.  

Extraction and processing of critical raw materials
In November LKAB became the principal shareholder in the Norwegian company REEtec, which has developed an innovative and sustainable process for separating rare earth elements that can compete with Chinese production. Since Europe has no extraction of its own and has only marginal processing capacity, the partnership marks the start of something new in Europe.

After the year-end LKAB announced that significant quantities of rare earth elements had been identified in the Kiruna area – elements necessary for, among other things, the production of electric cars and wind turbines.

“The largest known deposits of rare earth elements in our part of the world could become an important building block for producing the critical raw materials that are crucial for enabling the green transition. Otherwise we will face a supply problem. Without mines, there are no electric cars,” says Jan Moström.

Contact: Niklas Johansson, Senior Vice President Communication and Climate LKAB. Tel: +46 (0)10-144 52 19. E-mail:

LKAB is an international mining and minerals group that offers sustainable iron ore, minerals and special products. We are committed to developing carbon-free processes and products by 2045, leading the transformation of the iron and steel industry. Since 1890 we have developed through unique innovations and technological solutions and are driven forward by more than 4,500 employees in 12 countries. In 2021, the LKAB group had sales of about SEK 49 billion.