Continued growth for the Plansee Group.

In the 2013/14 fiscal year (ending February 28, 2014), the Plansee Group increased its sales volume by 17 percent and realized sales of 1.2 billion euros. The Group made investments of 280 million euros.

“Although falling raw materials prices meant that sales remained at the same level as last year, we were able to significantly increase the volume of sales,” said Dr. Michael Schwarzkopf at the annual press conference in Reutte.

The drivers for the upturn in the company’s performance included products for the consumer electronics sector and tools for the mechanical engineering and automotive industries. Demand picked up noticeably in the second half of the year. However, previous growth rates of China as a global economic powerhouse are lacking, according to Schwarzkopf. Nonetheless, for the first time for the Plansee Group, China is the third largest country in sales behind the USA and Germany. In terms of the regions, sales in Europe remained stable compared with the previous year at a level of 48 percent. While sales in America dropped from 31 to 28 percent, sales in Asia rose from 21 to 24 percent. More than half of Group sales were achieved in three sectors: mechanical engineering, automotive and consumer electronics. 30 percent of sales were realized with products that are less than five years old.

Share in Molymet increased.

 

The Plansee Group increased its share in the Chilean company Molymet from 14 to 20 percent last year. The most recent figures show that Molymet, employing 1,535 staff, realized annual sales of 890 million US dollars. “At a total value of 400 million euros, the share in Molymet is the largest single investment in the 90-year history of the Plansee Group”, said Schwarzkopf. Ensuring secure supplies of raw materials globally will continue to be a key issue. Molymet is a listed company and is the world's largest processor of molybdenum ore concentrates, with a global market share of more than 35 percent.

Expansion in the tools sector.

 

The hard metals division Ceratizit acquired an 80 percent share in the North American tool manufacturer Promax Tools LP. The company has a workforce of 70 in Rancho Cordova, California. This investment follows the acquisition of a share in German tool manufacturer Günther Wirth in the previous year. Schwarzkopf: “These M&A activities underscore Plansee Group’s intention to take a leading position in the world market for molybdenum and tungsten materials.”

Workforce increased by 5 percent.

 

The total number of employees in the Plansee Group rose by more than 300 to 6,060 as a result of the improved business situation. As part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen the global production network, operations at the Biel plant in Switzerland were moved to Empfingen in Germany.

280 million euros invested.

 

During the last fiscal year, the Plansee Group made investments of 280 million euros. These included the shares in Molymet and Promax Tools, investments in increased production capacity in Austria, Germany, the United States, China and India, and expenditures for product and process innovations. In fall of 2013, production started at Plansee High Performance Materials’ plant in Shanghai. Schwarzkopf said that between 2008 and 2013, the Plansee Group had invested 1.2 billion euros globally. 60 percent of this investment was in America, 32 percent in Europe and 8 percent in Asia.

Solid figures in profitability and equity capital.

 

Over the past year, Plansee was again able to exceed its earnings targets of a minimum EBIT of 10 percent and strengthen its equity capital. Schwarzkopf: “An equity ratio of 58 percent of total assets or 1.1 billion euros and no net debt means that we are in good shape not only for future growth, but also for more difficult economic times.”

Outlook.

 

The Plansee Group expects a positive business performance over the current fiscal year despite global uncertainties. “If the current economic sentiment prevails, we should be able to achieve new record figures,” said Schwarzkopf. “In the current fiscal year, we will go forward with two main objectives in mind. On one hand, we shall focus on further boosting the competitiveness of our existing production plants, and on the other, our focus will be on targeted expansion into new growth markets.”

About the Plansee Group.

 

With the divisions Plansee High Performance Materials, Global Tungsten & Powders (GTP) and Ceratizit and the investment in Molymet, the Plansee Group belongs to one of the worldwide leading powder metallurgical industrial groups that covers the whole supply chain of the high-tech materials Molybdenum and Tungsten – from ore processing to the production of customer-specific components. In the 2013/14 fiscal year, the Plansee Group realized consolidated sales of 1.2 billion euros and employed a total of 6,060 people worldwide. The fiscal year ends on the last day of February.