30 April 2013
Trading update Q1 2013
Revenues were down 2% in the first quarter of 2013 with adverse market conditions persisting in many of Umicore’s end markets. This was particularly the case in Europe where the construction and automotive sectors experienced a difficult start to the year. In terms of business group evolution, Performance Materials and Recycling recorded lower revenues with Catalysis and Energy Materials recording stable and slightly higher revenues respectively.
Margins in the first quarter were impacted by a negative evolution in product and regional mix as well as the effects of lower prices for certain metals on the recycling activities. Management continues to focus on cost reduction measures and price increases to mitigate the effects of the adverse market conditions.
Cashflows remained highly positive and net debt decreased to well below € 200 million. Investments to support Umicore’s long term growth ambitions continued at a high pace.
As previously announced, Umicore has started to buy back its own shares. Up until 26 April some 377,380 shares had been bought back, representing 0.3% of the issued shares. Umicore thereby held on 26 April 8,244,306 shares in treasury, or 6.9% of the issued shares.
Marc Grynberg, CEO commented : “The trends that we experienced in the second half of last year have persisted in the first quarter of 2013 and there is no sign today that any economic recovery would take shape before the end of the year. To protect our margins we will continue to address costs in a selective way and also look to increase prices to extract adequate value for the functionalities and technical performance of our materials and services. Our long-term growth ambitions remain undimmed and we have a number of investments that are due to come on stream in the coming months.”
Given the demand levels in the first quarter, the limited likelihood of any near term improvements in market conditions and higher depreciation charges, full year recurring EBIT is expected to be between € 300 million and € 330 million.