24 October 2013
Trading update Q3 2013
Umicore announces stable revenues for third quarter and its intention to invest € 100 million in Hoboken
Revenues were stable compared to the same period in 2012. The revenue growth in Catalysis, Energy Materials and Performance Materials was offset by lower revenues in Recycling as a result of lower metals prices. Cashflows remained strong and net debt decreased further in the quarter.
Umicore confirms it expects its full year recurring EBIT to be within the previously stated range of between € 300 million and € 330 million, albeit at the lower end of the range due to the more testing metal price environment.
Umicore announces its intention to invest € 100 million in Hoboken
Umicore has carried out an extensive assessment of options for the further expansion of its Precious Metals Refining activities. Based on technical and market studies, and subject to final Board approval, the preferred option at this stage is to pursue an expansion of the Hoboken facility targeting a treatment capacity of around 500,000 tonnes a year – an increase of some 40%. Umicore has engaged with the authorities to obtain the necessary permits.
The plan entails investments of some € 100 million over a period of two years. These would primarily enhance the capabilities of the smelter and the blast furnace by incorporating technical improvements, including those that have been developed at Umicore’s pilot ultra-high temperature (UHT) facility. The investments would enable Umicore Precious Metals Refining to build on its unique competence in treating the broadest range of complex materials from around the world. The initial focus of the expansion would be on complex residue streams from the non-ferrous metals industry. The availability of such residues is set to increase: as resources become scarcer this requires the mining of more complex ore bodies resulting in concentrates with a higher impurity content. The processing of these complex concentrates by Umicore’s suppliers in turn gives rise to more complex by-products.
The plan also ensures a continued focus on environmental performance. Recent investments in biological water treatment and gas cleaning capabilities would ensure that the site continues to attain the highest standards in terms of air and water emissions.
Market and engineering studies indicate that the investment could be EBIT accretive in the first full year of operations, with returns exceeding the cost of capital shortly thereafter. Umicore will continue to explore other avenues for the long term growth of its recycling activities. These include possible further enhancements of the capabilities of the Hoboken site after 2015, the pursuit of opportunities in new markets and the continued development of the battery recycling activities.