Trading update Q1 2015
Revenues were well up (+11%) compared to the same period last year with positive demand developments across segments and recent investments starting to make a more significant contribution.
In Catalysis revenues increased by 15% due to the ramp-up of Euro 6 catalyst production both for passenger cars and heavy duty diesel applications, combined with higher demand in most regions. Strong revenue growth in Energy Materials (+20%) reflected the contribution of recent acquisitions and organic growth. Revenues in Performance Materials were slightly lower (-2%) due to a slow start of the year in the European construction sector. Recycling revenues were up (+7%) as a result of higher processed volumes and a more favourable supply mix.
Following the completion of an information process with employees and their representatives, Umicore is now moving ahead with the creation of separate legal entities for the activities of four business units (in Belgium and the US). This is the first step in the portfolio realignment process announced in February which aims to divest the Zinc Chemicals and Building Products activities and find strategic partnerships in Electro-Optic Materials and Thin Film Products by the end of 2016.
Cash flows remained strong in the quarter. As a result, net debt was reduced from the levels reported at the end of 2014.
Based on the first quarter performance and assuming current market conditions continue to prevail, Umicore expects full year recurring EBIT for 2015 to be between € 310 million and € 340 million. This reflects year-on-year growth in Catalysis and Energy Materials in particular.