Brussels — According to latest figures, Umicore`s revenues were up 7 percent compared to the third quarter last year, reflecting solid growth across the business groups. In Catalysis, revenues were up by 10 percent 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 percent primarily due to the continued rise in demand for Rechargeable Battery Materials used in the transportation segment.
Revenues for Recycling increased by 7 percent as a result of higher processed volumes in Precious Metals Refining and higher revenues for the Jewellery & Industrials Metals and Platinum Engineered Materials business units.
Revenues for Precious Metals Refining were up year on year reflecting higher processed volumes as throughput increased following the recent expansion investments. Metal prices had no material impact on the revenue evolution as the impact of higher prices for gold, silver and some PGMs was more than offset by lower prices and subdued demand for certain specialty metals. Supply remained solid throughout the quarter, with large quantities of complex residues coming from the non-ferrous refining and mining industries.
Jewellery & Industrial Metals recorded higher revenues year on year driven by a stronger contribution from the recycling activity, which was supported by higher metal prices. The product businesses, however, recorded lower revenues mainly due to lower demand for investment products. Revenues for Platinum Engineering Materials were up year on year driven by higher order levels for glass applications. Demand for platinum gauzes used in the fertilizer industry was stable. The contribution from Precious Metals Management was stable. Revenues for Technical Materials were slightly up year on year despite severe competitive pressure. Earnings were further supported by strong cost control and productivity measures.
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.
Forecasting 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. While this will impact processed volumes for 2016, it will facilitate the commissioning of the new investments and will not affect the overall ramp-up plan.