Aurubis AG generates earnings before taxes of € 346 million (€ 358 million in the previous year) in the first half of fiscal year
» EBT in the first half-year 11/12 amounts to € 346 million (€ 358 million in the previous year)
» At € 173 million, the operating result (EBT) was € 51 million above the prior-year figure (€ 122 million)
» Net cash flow more than doubled to € 110 million compared to the comparable prior-year period (€ 52 million in the previous year)
» Revenues increased to € 6.799 billion (€ 6.468 billion in the previous year). Higher precious metal revenues and the integration of the Luvata Rolled Products Division (Luvata) more than compensated for lower copper prices.
» The global supply of copper concentrates was scarce due to production losses. Treatment charges in spot business reached lows yet again. Aurubis was not affected by this due to its long-term delivery contracts, and the treatment charges under these contracts even increased. Our plants’ supply of copper concentrates and recycling materials was good.
» Demand for sulfuric acid was also at a good level.
» The markets for copper products remain weak and are still affected by the European debt crisis.
- The uncertainty regarding the economic trend in the main sales markets for
copper continues. Meanwhile, the physical copper market is better than the
overall economic impression indicates.
- Based on the very good half-year result and the generally stable outlook for
our significant markets, we currently expect the overall annual result to be at
the prior-year level.
Hamburg, May 14, 2012 – The Aurubis Group was able to build on the good economic trend of the first quarter. Earnings before taxes (EBT) of € 346 million (€ 358 million in the previous year 2010/11) were generated in the first half of fiscal year 2011/12 on the basis of IFRS. The very satisfactory operating EBT amounts to € 173 million and is considerably up on the comparable prior-year period (EBT € 122 million).
The Aurubis Group’s (Aurubis) revenues increased to € 6,799 million (€ 6,468 million in the previous year). Compared to the first half of the previous year, higher precious metal revenues and the integration of the Luvata Rolled Products Division (Luvata) more than compensated for lower copper prices. Earnings before taxes (IFRS) amount to € 346 million (€ 358 million in the previous year) in the half-year under review. At € 173 million, operating earnings before taxes improved considerably compared to the prior-year period (€ 122 million). Apart from the good situation on important raw material markets, highlights include the overall higher concentrate throughput, the higher sulfuric acid output with increased sulfuric acid prices, higher copper scrap refining charges and rising input quantities of other materials carrying treatment charges. The good trend in the Business Units Primary Copper and Recycling/Precious Metals significantly compensated for the weaker performance of Business Unit Copper Products, which was related to market factors.
The Aurubis Group generated consolidated operating net income of € 119 million (€ 88 million in the previous year) in the first half of fiscal year 2011/12.
Net cash flow more than doubled compared to the comparable prior-year period (€ 110 million, € 52 million in the previous year).
Personnel expenses rose from € 149 million in the previous year to € 210 million because of the higher number of employees due to the integration of the Luvata RPD in particular, which was not included in the comparable prior-year period. Moreover, personnel provisions in connection with the restructuring decided on in Sweden, wage increases and higher profit-sharing bonuses influenced personnel expenses.
The copper market was influenced by weakening Chinese economic dynamics and the continuing debt crisis in Europe. However, the generally positive assessment of the fundamental market situation supported the copper price. High volatility continued.
The average settlement copper price for the second quarter was US$ 8,310/t (US$ 7,489/t in the previous quarter). The average price was US$ 7,903/t in the first half-year 2011/12 (US$ 9,136/t in the first half-year 2010/11). The closing price for the half-year on March 30, 2012 was US$ 8,480/t.
Investments in gold and silver were in demand again due to the continuing uncertainties in the overall economic environment. Precious metal prices remained at a high level but fluctuated. The average price of silver was about US$ 1,037/kg in the first half-year 2011/12 (H1 2011/12: US$ 936/kg). Gold was valued at an average of US$ 54,313/kg in the first half-year (H1 2010/11: US$ 44,259/kg).
The global supply of copper concentrates was scarce due to production losses, especially in Indonesia. Treatment charges in spot business reached lows yet again. Aurubis was not affected by this due to its long-term delivery contracts, and the treatment charges under these contracts even increased. Our plants’ supply of copper concentrates and recycling materials was good. Demand for sulfuric acid was also at a good level.
The markets for copper products remain weak and are still affected by the European debt crisis, especially in the Southern regions. In this market environment, our output and sales volumes increased compared to the seasonally weak previous quarter but did not achieve last year’s high sales level.
In Business Unit (BU) Primary Copper, a total of 465,000 t of cathodes (457,000 t in the previous year) were produced and 1,052,000 t of copper concentrates (980,000 t in the previous year) were processed.
The BU’s total revenues were at a high level at € 4,121 million (€ 3,276 million in the previous year). This was due in particular to higher metal prices overall.
BU Primary Copper achieved very good operating earnings before taxes (EBT) amounting to € 117.4 million (€ 91.7 million in the previous year). The strong earnings increase of € 25.7 million or 28 % compared to the previous year is mainly based on the treatment charges, which have improved for Aurubis, and good sulfuric acid revenues as well as high refining charges for copper scrap.
In BU Recycling/Precious Metals, revenues in the first half of the current fiscal year amounted to € 2,520 million (€ 2,284 million in the previous year). At € 59.9 million, the BU’s operating earnings before taxes (EBT) were € 40.4 million up on the earnings of the first half of the previous year, which were weighed on by extraordinary effects. In addition to a good metal yield, higher refining charges for copper scrap and increased throughput quantities of complex raw materials were the main reasons for this very positive ongoing trend.
BU Copper Products achieved revenues of € 4,701 million in the first half of the fiscal year (€ 4,733 million in the previous year). Operating earnings before taxes amounted to € 8.1 million in the first six months (€ 26.4 million in the previous year). The earnings reflect the considerably weaker sales markets for copper products compared to the previous year, which are still affected by the European debt crisis. The restructuring projects initiated in the previous quarters are being continued. The closing of special profile production in Yverdon-Les-Bains (Switzerland) and the relocation to the Olen site announced in the first quarter will likely be completed in the third quarter.
The Aurubis Group had a total of 6,289 employees at the end of the second quarter (4,891 in the previous year).
The increase in the number of employees is due in particular to the integration of the former Luvata RPD as well as various capital expenditure measures for expansion concentrated at the Hamburg and Lünen sites.
Raw material markets
The market for copper concentrates will likely depend on whether the mine output stabilizes in the course of the year. If this happens, we expect a higher supply with ongoing production problems in individual smelters. China’s concentrate demand will be influenced by the price ratio of the Shanghai Futures Exchange and the London Metal Exchange, which is unfavorable for imports. A significant recovery of spot business, which has been very calm in the past few weeks, cannot be expected in the near future, however, since mines are contractually bound and have very few free volumes at the moment. We are currently well supplied with copper concentrates for our smelters in Hamburg and Pirdop and require only limited additional purchases.
Copper quotations are currently moving laterally at a good level, which further stabilizes the good availability of scrap. We expect this situation to continue in the next few months, so a full supply of all recycling materials for all production sites should be ensured with good refining charges.
The uncertainty regarding the economic trend in the main sales markets for copper continues. Meanwhile, the physical copper market is better than the overall economic impression indicates.
Demand for copper cathodes may develop positively overall in the countries in the northern hemisphere, though with regional differences. The availability of volumes is limited. Furthermore, European processors have switched to securing their supply with more short-term transactions in 2012. Weaker copper demand should be expected in Asia owing to economic factors; the growth rate will nonetheless be well over that of the Western world again.
The production of refined copper continues to be susceptible to disruptions, so the utilization of smelter capacities may remain at a low level.
All of these points indicate that the copper price will likely be at a good level in the coming months as volatility continues.
Demand for copper products will be influenced by the economic environment. The progress of the planned grid expansion is decisive for copper wire rod. The automotive sector is also expected to be strong in the next few months, whereas the enameled wire industry in the southern parts of Europe looks a bit more cautiously into the future. Copper shapes markets are viewed as stable, supported by the positive environment in North America among other factors.
The demand for flat copper products in Europe remains short-term and may stagnate. The same applies to Asia. In contrast, the outlook in the electronics and electrical industry, engine cooling and distribution have improved in the US, so market growth can be expected in these sectors.
Overall, we do not expect the situation in Asia to recover until the end of summer 2012. Demand for copper products will likely be good in the US and at an acceptable level in Europe.
Sulfuric acid demand has recovered and the prices have stabilized. We expect the price level to continue.
We assume that the concentrate processing quantities will increase slightly in the second half-year. Processing quantities for the entire fiscal year would thus be slightly up on the prior-year level. We anticipate full utilization of our Lünen recycling units for the rest of the fiscal year.
The cathode output could therefore rise somewhat in the second half-year and be slightly above the prior-year level overall.
We expect a good business performance for the Business Units Primary Copper and Recycling/Precious Metals for the rest of the fiscal year due to the positive situation for our procurement markets. On the whole, we view the copper market as well supported despite economic uncertainties and expect volatile yet high ongoing copper prices. In Business Unit Copper Products we will continue to be confronted with the effects of subdued economic expectations. This will be reflected in the future business trend. Based on the very good half-year result and the generally stable outlook for our significant markets, we currently expect the overall annual result to be at the prior-year level.
The complete Interim Report on the First Half-year 2011/12 can be found in the download center.
OVERVIEW OF GROUP KEY FIGURES (IFRS)
Aurubis is the leading integrated copper group and the world’s largest copper recycler. We produce some 1 million t of copper cathodes each year and from them a variety of copper products.
Aurubis has about 6,300 employees, 18 production sites in Europe and the USA and an extensive service and sales system for copper products in Europe, Asia and North America.
Thanks to our wide range of services, we rank among the global leaders in our industry. Our core business is the production of marketable copper cathodes from copper concentrates, copper scrap and recycling raw materials. These are processed within the Group into continuous cast wire rod, shapes, rolled products and strips as well as specialty wire made of copper and copper alloys. Precious metals and a number of other products, such as sulfuric acid and iron silicate, round off our product portfolio.
Customers of Aurubis include companies in the copper semis industry, the electrical engineering, electronics and chemical industries as well as suppliers of the renewable energies, construction and automotive sectors.
Aurubis is oriented to growth and to increasing corporate value. The main focus of our strategy is on strengthening our business, utilizing growth opportunities and practicing a responsible attitude when dealing with people and handling resources and the environment.
Aurubis shares are part of the Prime Standard Segment of the Deutsche Börse and are listed in the MDAX, the European Stoxx 600 and the Global Challenges Index (GCX).
Further information at www.aurubis.com