In Catalysis, revenues were up by 10% driven largely by strong growth in Automotive Catalysts for both light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty diesel applications. Revenues in Energy & Surface Technologies were up by 8% primarily due to the continued rise in demand for Rechargeable Battery Materials used in the transportation segment. The 7% revenue increase in Recycling mainly reflects higher processed volumes and solid supply conditions in Precious Metals Refining.
The Group’s strategic growth investments are on track. The construction of the new automotive catalyst production plant in Thailand was completed and first deliveries are expected in the first quarter of 2017. The expansion program to triple capacity for NMC cathode materials in China and Korea by the end of 2018 is underway and the ongoing smaller capacity expansion projects in China will be commissioned before the end of 2016.
The scheduled maintenance shutdown of the smelter in Hoboken will be brought forward to December 2016. While this will affect processed volumes for 2016, it will not impact the overall ramp-up plan.
Umicore expects full year recurring EBIT to be in the previously guided range of € 345 to € 365 million despite the effect of the rescheduled shutdown of the Hoboken smelter at the end of the year.