Cooling down of the global economy throughout the entire business year 2012/13; move toward stabilization in the second half of the year lacked sufficient momentum to reverse the trend.
Regionally varied development with upward trends in the USA and, more recently, in Brazil, as opposed to dwindling momentum in Asia (especially China); in Europe, continuing recessive trends due to the crisis in Southern Europe and broad-based national austerity measures.
Group undertakes its largest ever foreign investment—construction of a direct reduction plant in Texas.
With its largely stable earnings performance in a difficult environment, the Steel Division is a benchmark in the EU steel industry.
Despite a moderate decline in operating result, the Special Steel and Metal Forming Divisions continue to enjoy solid profitability.
Due to its broad-based positioning and a high degree of specialization, the Metal Engineering Division demonstrated outstanding performance.
Compared to previous year, Group revenue drops by 4.4% from EUR 12.1 billion to EUR 11.5 billion, primarily due to lower raw materials prices.
All reporting categories improve significantly compared to the previous year, which was adversely affected by non-recurring provisions in the amount of EUR 205.0 million.
After EUR 1,301.9 million in the previous year, operating result (EBITDA) rose by 10.7% to EUR 1,441.8 million; at EUR 853.6 million, profit from operations (EBIT) increased compared to 2011/12 (EUR 704.2 million) by 21.2%.
Despite investment expenditures that had grown by 48.2%, improvement of free cash flow by 50.5% from EUR 337.8 million to EUR 508.3 million.
Structure of statement of financial position substantially enhanced: equity over EUR 5 billion for the first time, net financial debt reduced to EUR 2.26 billion, gearing ratio (net financial debt in percent of equity) as of March 31, 2013 lowered to 44.5% (previous year: 53.5%).
Dividend proposed to the Annual General Shareholders’ Meeting: EUR 0.90 per share (after EUR 0.80 per share in the previous year)—dividend yield increased from 2.9% to 3.8%.
At 46,351, number of employees (FTE/full-time equivalent) as of March 31, 2013 remains practically constant (previous year: 46,473).