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Market environment and business development

In the business year 2014/15, the development of the Metal Forming Division was inconsistent, both with regard to the most important sales regions and the customer segments. The division’s overall operating performance, i.e., without taking non-recurring effects due to divestments into account, was ultimately slightly above the previous year’s level.

In the Automotive Body Parts business segment, the export-driven order situation of the premium automobile manufacturers in Europe ensured excellent, stable demand. Additionally, since the beginning of the business year 2014/15, leading automobile manufacturers, including at newly constructed plants at international locations in the USA, China, and South Africa, have been supplied with safety-relevant, pre-assembled modules. The recovery in the compact and sub-compact car sectors in Europe, which had begun in the second half of the business year 2013/14, continued in 2014/15; the rising production and sales figures in these sectors are currently contributing to a stable and high level of capacity utilization in the entire Automotive Body Parts business segment.

The economic climate in the Tubes & Sections business segment was characterized by a volatile and very challenging market environment with considerable regional differences in the business year 2014/15. The European core markets were adversely impacted by the conflict between the Ukraine and Russia and resulting export restrictions. Demand in Europe remained below average overall, with the exception of passive safety components for the automobile industry as well as support elements for the construction industry. The noticeable uptrend in construction activity in the EU in the early part of the business year flattened out quickly and new momentum did not materialize in this sector until the fourth quarter of the business year. In the truck segment, higher truck sales in advance of the introduction of the Euro 6 environmental standard had occurred in the business year 2013/14, so that there was a significant decline in incoming orders. Outside of Europe, the Tubes & Sections business segment profited from a robust environment especially in the USA, while Brazil was generally plagued by recessive tendencies due to state over-regulation. The agricultural machinery segment was characterized by a broad-based—and practically global—reticence to make investments, which was caused by the decline in the prices for food staples. Toward the end of the business year, the solar industry sector saw a certain recovery trend due to the introduction and/or increase in government subsidies.

The Precision Strip business segment, whose production is focused on Europe, but whose sales are global, reported a good business year 2014/15 overall; despite flat demand in Europe and overcapacity in China, there were positive signals from the US market. However, the change in the rates of exchange and a build-up of capacity in the Far East, which has been ongoing for quite some time, resulted in more fierce competition with Asian competitors.

The market dynamic in the first half of the business year 2014/15 in the Warehouse & Rack Solutions business segment subsequently flattened slightly, however, it is still at a solid level so that this business segment, which has been developing very successfully, is going into the new business year with a solid level of demand and a stable order situation.

In the course of the business year 2014/15, the Metal Forming Division significantly streamlined its portfolio. As a result of the sale of the Flamco Group, which specializes in heating and drinking water installations, and of voestalpine Polynorm Van Niftrik B.V. and voestalpine Polynorm Plastics, both manufacturers of plastic components for the automotive market, the division has increasingly focused on its core business. Additionally, the Swedish company Rotec AB was divested in the fourth quarter of 2014/15; this company focused purely on retail sales of precision pipes and pipes made of special steel. In addition to this streamlining of the portfolio, in the course of the year, individual assets that do not form a part of the division’s core business were revaluated, and there was a structural reorganization of pension obligations in the divisional companies located in the Netherlands. As a result of all these measures, there was a positive non-recurring effect on EBITDA of EUR 61.9 million and on EBIT of EUR 45.2 million. These figures do not take into account the operating result of the divested companies that no longer applies.

About voestalpine

The voestalpine Group is a steel-based technology and capital goods group that operates worldwide. With its top-quality products, the Group is one of the leading partners to the automotive and consumer goods industries in Europe and to the oil and gas industries worldwide.


50 Countries on all 5 continents
500 Group companies and locations
48,100 Employees worldwide

Earnings FY 2014/15

€ 11.2 Billion


€ 1.5 Billion


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