According to Umicore the most significant growth was generated in Energy & Surface Technologies, as a result of the surge in customer demand for Umicore’s cathode materials for rechargeable batteries used in automotive applications.
- Revenues of € 1.5 billion (+7%) or € 1.4 billion (+13%) excluding discontinued operations
- Recurring EBITDA of € 296 million (+14%) or € 288 million (+21%) excluding discontinued operations
- Recurring EBIT of € 204 million (+16%) or € 195 million (+26%) excluding discontinued operations
- ROCE of 15.9% (versus 14.6% in the first half of 2016)
- Recurring net profit (Group share) of € 134 million (+20%)
- Recurring EPS of € 1.23 (+19%)
- Net debt at € 556 million corresponding to a gearing ratio of 23.2%
Umicore’s strategy to be a leader in clean mobility materials and recycling is underpinned by significant organic investments and acquisitions that enable a growth acceleration – as the company quotes. The investment programme to increase production capacity for cathode materials six-fold is making excellent progress and the first additional production lines will be commissioned towards the end of the year. In Catalysis, the acquisition of full ownership of the Ordeg joint venture in Korea and the agreement to acquire the heavy-duty catalysis activities of Haldor Topsoe will further enhance Umicore’s position in the light and heavy-duty segments respectively.
Umicore also made further progress in streamlining its portfolio in the first half and, in May, entered into exclusive negotiations to sell its Building Products activities.
Umicore successfully diversified its sources of debt financing and extended the duration of its debt profile through a combination of private debt placements in Europe and in the US for a total amount of close to € 700 million and maturities of 7 to 12 years.
Umicore has decided to stop issuing quarterly trading updates. Management will continue to interact with investors to address strategic themes and discuss the progress towards Umicore’s long-term ambitions.
An interim dividend of € 0.65 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 2016.
Umicore expects full year recurring EBIT to be at the high end of the previously guided range of € 370 million to € 400 million assuming current market conditions continue to prevail. Excluding discontinued operations, this equates to the high end of a range of € 355 million to € 385 million.