Sales of more than 1,5 billion euros.

“Despite global uncertainties caused by government debts, euro and banking crisis we were able to continue our worldwide expansion during 2011”, Plansee Group’s executive chairman, Dr. Michael Schwarzkopf, said at the annual press conference in Reutte.

Consolidated Group sales increased by 22 percent in the last fiscal year (ended February 29, 2012) to reach 1.52 billion euros. According to Schwarzkopf, “business developed satisfactorily in all divisions and in all important regions for Plansee. Increased sales volumes and raw material prices, acquisitions and changes within the group portfolio had a significant impact on sales growth.”

At the regional level, the Plansee Group benefited from the robust US economy and Germany’s export strength. Strong growth was also achieved in China and India. Sales outside of Europe slightly increased to 52 percent of the Group total (America 32 percent, Asia 20 percent and Europe 48 percent). More than half of Group sales were achieved in three market sectors mechanical engineering, automotive and consumer electronics.

Focus on high-technology materials molybdenum and tungsten

 

With the acquisition of a 10 percent share in the Chilean company Molibdenos y Metales (Molymet) in March of last year and the sale of the sintered parts manufacturer PMG at the end of 2011, the Plansee Group is now focused on the two key-materials molybdenum and tungsten. As a vertically integrated supplier Plansee Group covers all the expertise from ore processing to the production of customer-specific components. “We will continue expanding our global market position in this business field,” explained Schwarzkopf.

Due to the sale of PMG which employed 1,150 people worldwide, the Group’s workforce was down from 6,730 to 6,120 employees at year-end.

Total investments of more than 300 million euros

 

During the last fiscal year, the Plansee Group made investments of well over 300 million euros. These included investments in new production capacities (95 million euros) and improvements to the Group’s global market position through acquisitions such as the shareholding in Molymet (approximately 200 million euros), the closing of the joint venture with CB Carbide in Taiwan/China and the takeover of the Korean company TCB. 31 million euros were spent on product and process innovations.

“During the fiscal year 2012/13 we will continue to expand in the targeted areas. We are planning significant expansions to our production capabilities at a number of sites including Austria, Luxembourg, China and India”, explained Schwarzkopf. A new plant of the Plansee High Performance Materials division is scheduled to come on stream in the greater area of Shanghai in late 2012.

Outlook

 

Over the last quarters of the past fiscal year, business settled at a lower but nevertheless still satisfactory level. According to Schwarzkopf, there is considerable uncertainty on the markets and customers are evaluating carefully before placing new orders. This makes forecasts for the months to come difficult. Schwarzkopf: “It is not possible to predict how current problems of national debts and the financial markets will impact the real economy.”

Overall, the Plansee Group is expecting to achieve a lower growth rate than in the last fiscal year. “We are monitoring the current economic situation very carefully. The high level of market volatility forces companies to manage their cost structure extremely flexible,” Schwarzkopf explained. As a group, Plansee is better positioned than ever before. Schwarzkopf: “With an equity ratio of more than 55 percent and a strong cash position (negative gearing) we are well equipped to cope with any potential downturn and will continue to pursue our global expansion strategy.”

With the divisions Plansee High Performance Materials, Global Tungsten & Powders (GTP) and CERATIZIT and the investment in Molymet, the Plansee Group belongs to 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 2011/12 fiscal year, the Plansee Group realized consolidated sales of 1.52 billion euros and employed a total of 6,120 people worldwide.