Aurubis generates very good results in the first half of fiscal year 2014/15
Hamburg, May 12, 2015 - The Aurubis Group (Aurubis) generated operating earnings before taxes (EBT) of € 180 million in the first half of fiscal year 2014/15 (previous year: € 27 million). This includes extraordinary effects of about € 50 million, which are expected to neutralize again in the course of the year to some extent. Operating return on capital employed (ROCE) reached 15.8 % (previous year: 1.7 %).
On the market side, higher treatment charges for copper concentrates, a higher cathode premium and increased global sulfuric acid prices contributed to the good earnings trend.
The product markets varied: demand for rod and shapes developed positively in Europe, while exports to North America due to the strong US dollar provided additional momentum. The European market for flat rolled products was restrained. It weakened in some key segments in North America.
In the operational business, a high production performance, an improved input mix of recycling materials and a very good metal yield supported the results.
The positive extraordinary effects of about € 50 million largely resulted from low precious metal inventories as at the closing date. Delayed receipts of precious metal-bearing raw materials on the one hand and higher outgoing precious metal deliveries on the other hand had an impact. The high earnings that resulted from this will balance out again, as inventories are expected to increase in the course of the year.
“Even without the extraordinary effects, we have generated very good results supported by a favorable market environment and a good production performance, especially in the second quarter,” summarized Dr. Bernd Drouven, Chairman of the Aurubis AG Executive Board.
The revenues of the Aurubis Group amounted to € 5,519 million in the first half of fiscal year 2014/15, slightly below the previous year (€ 5,695 million) due to product sales.
Earnings before taxes based on IFRS amounted to € 175 million in the first half of fiscal year 2014/15 (previous year: € -120 million), mainly due to the positive business development and the metal price trend compared to the previous year. In contrast to operating earnings, IFRS earnings include measurement effects due to copper price fluctuations and other factors. Therefore, the operating earnings are decisive for Aurubis in assessing the business performance and managing the company.
We still anticipate a good supply of copper concentrates and high treatment and refining charges accordingly. Ongoing stable demand and good sales opportunities are expected for sulfuric acid for the next few months. The good conditions on the copper scrap market should also continue. However, declining copper prices could lead to a tightening of the market with decreasing refining charges in the short term. For cathode demand, we expect the premium level to soften towards the end of the fiscal year.
We expect the good demand level for our main products, rod and shapes, to continue for the next several months. We view European demand for flat rolled products as restrained, while some key market segments in North America will likely remain weak.
We expect the copper concentrate throughput and the cathode output to exceed the prior-year level during the fiscal year.
The extraordinary effects of € 50 million included in the results for the first half-year are expected to reverse to some extent as the year goes on. However, our projects to improve the results will likely deliver initial contributions to earnings in the current fiscal year.
“We continue to expect both operating EBT and ROCE to be considerably higher for fiscal year 2014/15 compared to the previous year,”Dr. Bernd Drouven concluded.