In the first half of the business year 2017/18, depreciation totaling EUR 384.6 million exceeded actual investments amounting to EUR 337.8 million. In the first half of the business year 2017/18, EUR 15.0 million in impairments of property, plant and equipment were recognized in the Metal Engineering Division for a cash generating unit, which engages in the manufacture of ultra high-strength fine wire, due to challenging market conditions arising from technological and product-specific requirements, competitive pressures as well as the resulting reduction in earnings forecasts. This and negative currency translation effects amounting to EUR 162.9 million essentially led to a decrease in non-current assets from EUR 8,733.6 million to EUR 8,505.4 million. Due primarily to an operational increase in inventories (see ), compared to March 31, 2017, the carrying amount of the inventories on the reporting date rose by EUR 288.2 million despite negative currency translation effects.
As of September 30, 2017, voestalpine AG’s share capital amounted to EUR 320,394,836.99 (March 31, 2017: EUR 320,394,836.99) and is divided into 176,349,163 shares (March 31, 2017: 176,349,163). The Company held 28,597 of its own shares as of the reporting date. In the first half of the business year 2017/18, the Company neither bought nor sold any own shares.
In the business year 2012/13, voestalpine AG issued a new subordinate undated bond (hybrid bond 2013) with a volume of EUR 500 million. As the hybrid bond satisfies the IAS 32 criteria for equity, the proceeds from the bond issue are recognized as part of equity. Accordingly, coupon payments are also presented as part of the appropriation of profit. The issue costs of the hybrid bond 2013 amounted to EUR 2.8 million, less EUR 0.7 million in tax effects. Therefore, equity increased by EUR 497.9 million in the business year 2012/13.
Due primarily to changes in the actuarial result (positive) and currency translation effects (negative), the profit after tax of EUR 388.9 million was reduced to total comprehensive income of EUR 328.9 million. This increased equity to EUR 6,183.8 million despite the dividend distribution. For the business year 2016/17, a dividend per share of EUR 1.10 was decided upon at the Annual General Meeting on July 5, 2017. Therefore, voestalpine AG has distributed dividends amounting to EUR 194.0 million to its shareholders in the current business year.
Provisions for pensions, severance, and long-service bonus obligations are taken into account in the Interim Consolidated Financial Statements based on an expert opinion on the forecast for the entire current business year 2017/18. If significant changes of the parameters occur during the year, a reassessment of the net debt is carried out.
A positive performance of the pension fund of 3.0% during the current business year and an increase of the discount interest rate from 1.6% to 1.8% resulted in a decrease overall of the provisions for pension and severance obligations and consequently in an actuarial gain of EUR 29.3 million (after deferred taxes). This also resulted in a decrease of the provisions for long-service bonus obligations amounting to EUR 2.6 million and a gain recognized in the income statement (after deferred taxes) amounting to EUR 2.0 million.
voestalpine AG has successfully placed a new EUR 500 million corporate bond issue in the capital market for general corporate funding purposes as well as for refinancing a senior bond that expires in February 2018. The coupon rate for the 7-year bond is 1.375%.