As Turkey's first and largest integrated flat steel producer and one of the world's top steel producers, we continue to work with all our strength to ensure our leading and exemplary position remains sustainable. In this respect, we rounded off 2016 by further advancing our continuous successful performance by managing the changes and fluctuations in the global steel industry.
The year 2016 was marked by high volatility and low predictability in the global steel industry. From the perspective of the steel sector, we consider these developments to mark the beginning of a change in the global outlook and the trends that were shaped after the 2008 economic crisis.
Global crude steel production stood at 1.63 billion tonnes in 2016, an increase of 0.8% compared to 2015. Despite a slight increase in capacity utilization ratios on a global scale, the 69% ratio remains below the sustainable level of 75%. We anticipate that the modest improvement in global economic growth expected will give rise to stronger rate of recovery in 2017, especially with the measures taken aimed at reducing excess supply in the steel sector in China.
We are undergoing a process in which the ways we do business differ, where risks as well as new opportunities emerge simultaneously. In this process, while the world economy presses ahead in its quest for equilibrium, our country continues to progress on its strong foundations with determination.
Turkey increased its crude steel production by 5.3% YoY in 2016 to 33 million tonnes, lifting our country to 8th place in the world rankings again. The year 2016 also marked a milestone for Turkey in terms of steel exports, with flat steel exports of 3.1 million tons, marking a strong 21% increase. Despite the fall in global demand, Turkey also repeated its success in long product exports, exporting 10 million tonnes of products.
A successful operational and financial performance in line with our targets
Erdemir Group is proud to have transformed Turkish steel into a global brand and we achieved a 3% increase in our liquid steel production to 9.4 million tonnes in 2016. We therefore increased our efficiency by using our capacities in steel production effectively and reached a capacity utilization rate far exceeding the world steel sector average. While our sales revenue stood at US$ 3.9 billion in 2016, we exported 1.1 million tonnes of finished products and increased the share of exports in our total sales to 12.4%.
We crowned our achievements in the operational field with our financial performance in 2016. Erdemir Group's asset size amounted to US$ 6.7 billion at the end of the year. The net period profit of our group, which achieved a global competitive edge, stood at US$ 502 million in 2016 with a net profit margin of 13%. Our EBITDA rose 16% YoY to reach US$ 895 million, representing an EBITDA margin of 23.2% in 2016.
Continued success in generating value for our shareholders
Erdemir achieved the strongest rise of any company on the Borsa Istanbul in 2016, starting the year 2016 in 15th place on the list of the most valuable companies and completing it in 9th place with a market value of TL 17,990 million.
Another important development of 2016 was that Isdemir began to be traded on the Pre-Market Trading Platform of the Borsa Istanbul with the ISDMR ticker.
We will step up our pace of growth with the restructuring of the OYAK Mining and Metallurgical Group
Erdemir Group became a founding pillar of Turkish industry and has achieved great success in the half-century that has passed since its foundation. Erdemir has accelerated its breakthroughs since 2006, when it was taken over by our main shareholder, OYAK, and has continued its progress on a global scale.
We are experiencing the excitement of entering a new growth period. We have transferred our operations specific to iron and steel to a wider and more integrated scope, and are organizing our activities under the roof of the OYAK Mining and Metallurgy Group.
In this context, we aim to raise the value we offer to our valuable stakeholders by entering new markets with customized products and solutions, with leaner and agile processes and with state of the art technology.
We are working to widen our contribution to society
Erdemir Group continues to be one of the most important sources of value in Turkey with its existing and new investments, the employment that it creates and the social projects that it carries out.
Our goal is to continuously increase the value we add to society and the environment, as well as the economic value we create. In this framework, we implemented long term projects in three different areas.
We aim to make Erdemir Group one of the most successful companies in the field of occupational safety in Turkey with "Behavioural Focused Safety Management", which we adopted in the field of occupational health and safety for our employees, who are the greatest architects of our success.
We implemented the "Revitalizing the production of Ottoman Strawberry and its Trade" project in Ereğli, which hosts us, with the aim of contributing to the lands where we produce and earn in relation to the environment and biodiversity.
We aim to support artists of the future with the "Steel and Life Contest and Exhibition" project, in which undergraduate and graduate students in the sculpture departments of universities in Turkey are able to participate in the meeting point between steel and art. We also aimed to emphasize the many different roles of steel in our daily lives.
Leadership and responsibility
After half a century of operation, the Erdemir Group will continue to ascend rapidly up the rungs of global leadership. Within this scope, I would like to express my honour and delight at taking over the duties of Chairman of Erdemir's Board of Directors, and taking the baton as chairman of the OYAK Mineral and Metallurgical Group.
For us leadership is to be taken as an example with the practices carried out, where we are recognized as an honest and prudent business partner and as an employer which values society and people - in short, to be a good corporate citizen.
Our production scale, our human resources, the knowledge and skills that we have built over half a century and which we continuously improve on and our stakeholder relations are the most important elements that make us strong in the journey of global leadership.
Our goal is to work harder in 2017 and beyond to ensure that the value we generate for you, our valuable stakeholders, and our country is sustainable by ascending ever upward on a global scale.
On behalf of myself and the Board of Directors, I would like to extend my deepest thanks and respects to all our stakeholders who have always contributed to our Group.
Ömer M. Baktır
Chairman of the Board