A strong growth in automotive catalysts and rechargeable battery materials have more than offset the impact of lower metal prices in the various recycling activities.
Growth investments in clean mobility and recycling continue and capital expenditures amounted to € 86 million in the first half. Umicore is accelerating its expansion investments for cathode materials for automotive applications and will triple its capacity by 2018. In Recycling, the ramp-up of the 40% capacity expansion in the Hoboken plant has started.
Umicore has reached an agreement to sell its Zinc Chemicals business unit to OpenGate Capital. The transaction is expected to be closed during the second half of 2016, subject to customary regulatory approvals.
Non recurring elements amounted to a charge of € 68 million to EBIT, mainly related to the fine imposed by the French Competition Authority on Umicore in relation to its Building Products activities in France and expected to be paid in the third quarter. Umicore disputes the decision, including the imposed fine and will appeal.
An interim dividend of € 0.60 per share will be paid out in August. In line with the dividend policy, the amount corresponds to half the annual dividend declared for the financial year 2015.
Umicore expects full year recurring EBIT to be in the range of € 345 – € 365 million* assuming current metal prices continue to prevail.