As a consequence of the downward trend in production and delivery volumes—albeit at slightly higher prices in comparison to the first quarter of the previous year—revenue fell by 7.2% from EUR 735.7 million to EUR 682.8 million. The fact that it was possible to keep declines in the operating result (EBITDA) within narrow limits in the first quarter of 2013/14 despite more challenging market conditions is due, on one hand, to the efficiency improvement measures undertaken during the last business year and, on the other, to the initial contributions to earnings by the newly acquired companies (Eifeler Group, Sturdell Industries).
At EUR 98.5 million, EBITDA is 5.7% below the previous year’s figure of EUR 104.5 million. The improvement in the EBITDA margin, however, was only slight, with this figure rising from 14.2% to 14.4%. Profit from operations (EBIT) went down by 4.8%, going from EUR 68.3 million in the first quarter of 2012/13 to EUR 65.0 million in the first quarter of 2013/14, with the EBIT margin increasing slightly from 9.3% to 9.5%.
As of June 30, 2013, the Special Steel Division had 12,884 employees (FTE), an increase of 4.3% compared to the same reporting date in the previous year (12,348) due primarily to acquisitions.