Voestalpine Reports Solid Half Year Performance
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Despite a persistently challenging economic climate, the Voestalpine Group posted a largely solid performance for the first half of the business year 2014/15. The business year started with optimistic economic forecasts for the mature economies and mixed expectations for the emerging markets. However, measured against these expectations, and excepting North America and China, the global economic trend cooled down in the course of the first six months. "Nevertheless, in view of the increasingly challenging environment, Voestalpine Group performance during the first half of the business year was at a most satisfactory level," says Dr. Wolfgang Eder, chairman of the Voestalpine Group. Significant Improvements in All Earnings Categories Revenue was down 1.5% to 5.56 billion euros. This is the result of the closure of standard rail production in Duisburg end 2013 and the resulting decrease in the Metal Engineering Division's delivery volumes. Weaker price levels in several business segments were the consequence of continued falling raw materials and pre-material costs. The significantly higher operating result (EBITDA), up 11.2% to 757 million euros, includes non-recurring effects in the Metal Forming Division totaling 66.5 million euros (relating to the sale of the Flamco Group and agreement to sell the Plastics Solutions business segment). Adjusted for these non-recurring effects, EBITDA rose 1.5% year on year to 690 million euros. Adjusted EBITDA margin increased from 12.1% to 12.4%. Profit before tax improved even more substantially, up 25.5% to 392 million euros. Even after deduction of the non-recurring effect, profit before tax in the first six months of 2014/15 was 347 million euros, 11% up on previous year's same period. Profit for the period rose 36% to 324 million euros. Factoring out the non-recurring effect, adjusted profit for the period is 281 million euros, a considerable 18% improvement over the previous year, primarily due to lower financing costs.