In a year-to-year comparison, the Special Steel Division was not quite able to match the very good earnings of the previous year, although at EUR 1,422.1 million, the revenue was only slightly below last year’s figure (EUR 1,463.7 million). Considering the loss of global economic momentum, the decline of 2.8% is relatively marginal. The operating result was not able to match the stability of the previous year, with EBITDA falling by 10.2% to EUR 195.5 million compared to EUR 217.7 million in the previous year. As a result, the EBITDA margin declined from 14.9% for the first six months of the previous business year to 13.7% for the first half of 2012/13.
The profit from operations (EBIT) dropped from EUR 141.7 million to EUR 123.0 million, a decrease of 13.2%. The EBIT margin came down accordingly from 9.7% in the first half of the business year 2011/12 to 8.6% in the first two quarters of the business year 2012/13.
The first half of the business year 2012/13 was marked by seasonal fluctuations during the summer months and the subsequent slowdown of the global economic momentum. As a result, the second quarter saw a downtrend in comparison to the first quarter both with regard to revenue and the individual reporting categories. Quarterly revenue declined by 6.7% going from EUR 735.7 million to EUR 686.4 million, which, in turn, resulted in a reduction in EBITDA from EUR 104.9 million in the first quarter to EUR 90.6 million in the second quarter of the current business year, a drop of 13.6%. The EBITDA margin experienced a dip from 14.3% in the first quarter to 13.2% in the second quarter of 2012/13.
Similarly, EBIT fell from EUR 68.8 million in the first quarter to EUR 54.2 million in the second quarter of 2012/13, a drop of 21.2%, thus resulting in a corresponding EBIT margin that went down from 9.3% to 7.9% in the quarter under review.
As of September 30, 2012, the Special Steel Division had 12,322 employees (full-time equivalent), a slight increase compared to the previous year (12,222 employees). This represents a marginal drop of 0.3% compared to the beginning of the business year (12,363).