If you use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. More information I accept cookies

Market environment and business development

Overall, the market environment in most industrial segments in the Special Steel Division’s core markets improved in the business year 2014/15 compared to the previous year. The performance in the tool steel and high-speed steel segments, with their primary focus on the automotive and consumer goods markets, was far above average. This trend was driven not just by sustained growth in China, Southeast Asia, and North America, but also by the largely stable environment in Germany and the first signs of a recovery in Southern Europe.

In the first three quarters of 2014/15, the oil and natural gas sectors had a significant increase in incoming orders. Since the last quarter of the past business year, however, there has been a substantial reduction in demand as a result of the plunge of the oil price and the associated massive restructuring efforts within the industry. However, by expanding its portfolio, both with regard to the product and the value-added components, the division was able to at least partially compensate this development. In contrast, the aviation sector demonstrated a very positive development throughout the entire year. The market trend was generally positive and a focused improvement of internal processes together with an expansion of the product range enabled this sector to continue its organic growth of recent years.

Demand in the energy engineering industry (power plants) remained subdued and is not expected to improve in the foreseeable future. The mechanical engineering market is also rather restrained. With regard to both of these market segments, it must be clearly differentiated between the situation in Europe and the situation in China, India, and the USA. While there is no real change on the horizon in Europe, on the overseas markets, there are definitely signs pointing to an improvement.

Geographically, the increase in orders coming in for the Special Steel Division in the business year 2014/15 was driven mainly by Asia—particularly China—North America, and a relatively stable market in Germany. Brazil, the economic core country in South America, has maneuvered itself into a crisis-ridden situation largely through its own fault. The division was successful in ensuring a performance there in the business year 2014/15 that was still clearly positive only by way of its focus on exports and by extremely lean management.

In the business year under review, the High Performance Metals (production) business segment enjoyed full capacity utilization in all major production segments; the only exception were those production segments that were impacted by the difficult market situation in the energy engineering industry. In order to durably improve the situation at the site in Wetzlar, Germany, which has been impacted the most by this situation, a reengineering project that will implement both structural and operational measures has been initiated. A similar change process is already showing positive results at the main site for forging technology in Austria. Besides a significant improvement of the cost situation, the transformation toward producing aerospace products—the target is a revenue share of more than 90%—has already been largely completed.

In the Value-Added Services business segment, the global expansion of logistical and technological services was continued as planned. In addition to the roll-out of the new Eifeler coating technology in the USA and China, the start-up of the new heat treatment units in Düsseldorf was a milestone in the process of enhancing its position as a premium service provider in Germany. In the oil and natural gas segment, the successful start of Böhler Pacific Singapore was a clear signal that the Special Steel Division is pursuing a leading position on the market in Southeast Asia.

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


To the Top