Skip to main content Skip to primary navigation

Umicore update on trading conditions over the first quarter of 2024

Regional website Germany

The market dynamics observed across Umicore’s four Business Groups over the first quarter of the year are overall in line with expectations1.

In an increasingly challenging market context, the Battery Materials Business Group has started the execution of its order book, built on strategic customer agreements concluded over the past two years. The underlying volumes are gradually building up, following the customers’ ramp up profile, with a more pronounced volume effect currently still anticipated in the second half of the year. At the same time, the Business Group is focusing on the execution of its global capacity expansions. 

In the Catalysis Business Group, Automotive Catalysts continued to make good progress on further efficiency improvements, working capital optimization and free cash flow generation in line with its strategy to continue to generate peak profitability. The business unit’s overall business performance was also in line with expectations. Precious Metals Chemistry and Fuel Cell & Stationary Catalysts started the year as anticipated.

In the Recycling Business Group the scheduled and regular maintenance shutdown in Precious Metals Refining was completed in the first quarter and operations restarted. As previously announced, volumes and earnings will therefore be more weighted in the second half of 2024. As anticipated, Precious Metals Management was impacted by limited metal price volatility. Jewelry & Industrial Metals started the year on track. The Battery Recycling Solutions Business Unit continues to focus on recycling scraps from European battery plants in their ramp-up at its industrial pilot plant in Hoboken (Belgium).

The Specialty Materials Business Group started the year in a continued challenging market environment. This combined with currently lower market premiums affected - as anticipated - Cobalt & Specialty Materials. Performance of the Metal Deposition Solutions is in line with expectations.  As anticipated, Electro-Optic Materials had a strong start of the year.

Based on performance to date, and current market visibility and metal prices, Umicore confirms that it anticipates Group’s adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2024 to be in the range of € 900 million to € 950 million, as announced in the full-year 2023 results press release.

Furthermore, over the first quarter of 2024, Umicore made several noteworthy announcements:

  • In January, the Group announced it has entered into an agreement with Microsoft to use artificial intelligence as a means to facilitate and accelerate its research in battery material technologies for electric vehicles.
  • In February, Umicore concluded an 8-year loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for € 350 million financing the Group’s R&D activities.
  • In addition, Umicore successfully completed mid-April the issue of a fixed-rate, sustainability-linked US Private Placement Notes for a total amount of € 499 million equivalent, the funds will be drawn upon in July 2024. With both transactions Umicore diversifies and extends its funding base and the maturity of its debt at attractive fixed rate conditions.
  • After the close of the first quarter, Umicore introduced Nexyclus™, the broadest certificate offering of fully-recycled precious metals worldwide, including platinum-group metals (PGM), with three types of certificates. This unique offering addresses resource scarcity and increased demand for recycled, responsibly sourced and low-carbon metals, and builds on Umicore’s global leadership in the recovery of precious metals with its longstanding circular business model.

1 As a reminder, Umicore at its full-year results in February presented its 2024 outlook along with its new organizational structure that consists of four Business Groups - instead of three before. In the half-year results 2024 press release, to be published on July 26th, 2024, Umicore will report its financials under the new format and provide comparable historical half-year 2023 data for the Battery Materials and Specialty Materials Business Groups.

Media Relations

Marjolein Scheers

Marjolein Scheers

Director External Relations
T: +32 2 227 71 47
Caroline Jacobs

Caroline Jacobs

Media Relations Manager
T: +32 2 227 7129
Britta Werner

Britta Werner

Contact for media inquiries
T: +49 6181 59-4825