The investments of the voestalpine Group in the business year 2010/11 came to EUR 422.7 million. Of the total investments, EUR 412.3 million were attributable to tangible fixed assets, EUR 8.1 million to intangible assets, and EUR 2.3 million to equity holdings. Compared to the previous year (EUR 542.5 million), investment expenditures were down by another EUR 119.8 million or 22.1% as a result of the Group’s restrictive investment policy as a reaction to the global economic and financial crisis. As a result of eliminating, resizing, and postponing projects or extending completion deadlines, in the business year 2010/11, the Group’s investments were substantially lower than depreciation (EUR 620.8 million). However, it should be emphasized that those investment projects focused on the expansion of the Group’s leadership role in both technology and quality are still being vigorously pursued.
At EUR 152.6 million, 36.1% of the Group’s investments were accounted for by the Steel Division; compared to the previous year (EUR 240.8 million), this corresponds to another reduction by 36.6%. The focus was the realization of the still outstanding projects under the “L6” investment program; in the business year 2010/11, construction of a new melting pot gas holder (commissioning: spring 2012) and construction of a new continuous casting facility (commissioning: fall 2011) continued within the scope of this program. Thus, beginning with the business year 2012/13, the steel site Linz will have an annual production capacity of 6 million tons (previously 5.5 millions tons). Additionally, in the summer of 2010, construction of a new Steel Service Center (SSC) began in Romania, which will have state-of-the-art slitting and cut-to-length facilities and which will be put into operation in the fourth calendar quarter of 2011.
The Special Steel Division reported investments of EUR 87.9 million in 2010/11, 40.9% below last year’s figure (EUR 148.8 million). Attention was focused on investment projects to expand capacity in the forging sector; they were completed just in time to coincide with the most recent economic recovery. New, state-of-the-art forging presses were put into operation at the sites in Wetzlar, Germany and Hagfors, Sweden, and at the production site in Kapfenberg, Austria, a new axial forging machine was started up. After the completion of these expansion projects, these sites now have sufficient capacity to be able to handle the (structural) increase in demand in the open-die forging segment. Other projects during the past business year primarily involved investment in rationalization, modernization, and maintenance of facilities.
The Railway Systems Division reported investments of EUR 96.1 million in the business year 2010/11, representing an increase of 23.0% over the previous year (EUR 78.1 million). The largest individual projects involved the scheduled major repair of one of the two blast furnaces at the Donawitz site during the period from July to October 2010, as well as the commissioning of a second vacuum pump at the same site, which enables a significant increase in the secondary metallurgical capacity of up to 100,000 tons per year.
In the business year 2010/11, the Profilform Division reported an investment volume of EUR 52.3 million, which was higher than the previous year’s figure (2009/10: EUR 47.6 million) by 9.9%. The investment in a sawing and rolling center for the precision strip segment in Kematen, Lower Austria, was completed in the current business year and successfully commissioned. Due to the extremely positive market development and a sustainable and reliable level of demand, also the second part of the investment project (strip production, especially for tempered saw bands) with a preliminary budget of EUR 45 million has already been tackled.
In the business year 2010/11, the focus in the Automotive Division was primarily on smaller investments that were associated with existing orders or were necessary for operational reasons. Due to the very low level of expenditure in the previous year (EUR 22.5 million), the division reported an increase of 24.4% to EUR 28.0 million.