Second most successful year ever. The Plansee Group continues to expand.

In spite of the flagging economy, the Plansee Group plans to continue expanding. At the same time, the company intends to become more productive and innovative.

In the last fiscal year (ending 28 February, 2013), the Plansee Group generated sales of €1.23 billion (compared with €1.52 billion in the previous year). This meant that consolidated group sales were down by 19 percent. The main reason for this was the sale of the PMG division at the end of 2011 (annual sales of €200 million). The sales figures also reflect the customers’ cautious purchasing strategies and a fall in the prices of raw materials.

Presenting the figures at the annual press conference in Reutte, Dr. Michael Schwarzkopf, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Plansee Group said that "bearing in mind that we have had to operate in a global market environment characterized by uncertainty and that previously booming China provided only little stimulus, we are extremely satisfied. In financial terms, 2012/13 even turned out to be our second most successful year ever."

As in the preceding year, sales outside of Europe accounted for 52 percent of the Plansee Group total (America 31 percent, Asia 21 percent, Europe 48 percent). Half of Group sales were achieved in three sectors: mechanical engineering, automotive and consumer electronics.

Focus on molybdenum and tungsten.

 

The Plansee Group has gradually increased its holding in the Chilean company Molymet to 14 percent. The company has annual revenues of US$1.2 billion and 1620 employees. Schwarzkopf: "This reflects our continuing commitment to our strategy of focusing on the two high-tech materials molybdenum and tungsten." Molymet is a listed company and is the world's largest processor of molybdenum ore concentrates, with a market share of 30 percent. "In the last fiscal year, Molymet raised its holding in the West's largest processor of rare earth metals, the US company Molycorp, to 20 percent of the shares. This increases the strategic value of our holding over the long term", said Dr. Schwarzkopf.

The Ceratizit division acquired a 50-percent holding in the German tool manufacturer Günther Wirth. The company employs 400 staff at five production sites.

The total number of employees at the Plansee Group fell by around 400 to 5710. As part of the process of streamlining the global production network, the Californian company Plansee Thermal Management Solutions in San Diego was divested and one production line at GTP in Towanda (USA) was closed down.

More than €180 million invested.

 

During the last fiscal year, the Plansee Group made investments of more than €180 million. This included investments in additional production capacity in Austria, Germany, the USA, China and India as well as the holdings in Molymet and Günther Wirth. The new Plansee High Performance Materials production plant in Shanghai is due to start production in the summer. In total Plansee spent €29 million on product and process innovations.

Earnings satisfactory.

 

Despite the fall in sales, the past fiscal year was successful financially. "We have learned from the financial crisis and have again been able to achieve our financial objectives. With equity capital of around €1 billion (59 percent of total consolidated assets) and a healthy cash position (negative gearing), we have proved that we can continue to conduct our business successfully even in difficult times," stressed Dr. Schwarzkopf.

Outlook.

 

The Plansee Group expects business to remain stable over the current fiscal year. Schwarzkopf: "We are not expecting any significant growth stimulus. The uncertainty in the financial markets and the sovereign debt crisis are simply too much of an obstacle." He explained that business planning would pose ever greater challenges under such conditions and that the Plansee Group would, as a result, focus even more strongly on continuing to improve their competitiveness, on a high level of flexibility, financial independence and attractive products and services.

Schwarzkopf announced that the Plansee Group would continue to pursue their global expansion strategy throughout 2013/14. Schwarzkopf: "The potential for growth in the fields served by our materials is there. Our primary focus is on expansion in America and Asia. Merger & Acquisition activities will play an important role."

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.