Trading Update Q3 2012
Umicore’s revenues were up 2% compared to the same period in 2011. The slowdown in the global economy was more pronounced in the third quarter with a number of end markets affected by lower demand. Visibility on customer orders has also decreased. The main effects of the slowdown were felt in Performance Materials and in Energy Materials, with the exception of the Rechargeable Battery Materials activity. In Catalysis, revenues increased slightly, although the business started to feel the effects of lower demand in the European automotive sector. The Recycling business continued to benefit from a positive supply environment.
In response to the evolution in specific end markets, Umicore is adjusting its cost base and production footprint. At the same time, Umicore continues to invest for future growth opportunities with new initiatives announced in Jewellery & Industrial Metals, Cobalt & Specialty Materials and Rechargeable Battery Materials.
Cash flows remained highly positive during the third quarter with net debt further reduced by some € 35 million.
The more challenging market conditions are likely to persist in most of the Performance Materials and Energy Materials end-markets. Catalysis should continue to feel the effects of the slowdown in the European automotive sector. Supply conditions and profitability in Recycling are expected to remain strong in the fourth quarter.
Despite a more testing economic environment for many of Umicore’s businesses, full year recurring EBIT is still expected to be within the range provided in July of between € 370 to 390 million, corresponding to an EBITDA in excess of € 500 million.
Note: All comparisons are made with the third quarter of 2011, unless mentioned otherwise.