High Performance Metals Division

      This report is a translation of the original report in German, which is solely valid.

      Market Environment and Business Development

      The upward trend in the market environment of the High Performance Metals Division continued unabated during the first half of the business year 2021/22.

      Tool Steel

      Demand in the tool steel product segment also continued to rebound in the business year’s first six months. This was due chiefly to the consumer goods industry and the automotive industry, with the latter managing to implement new projects despite the semiconductor supply chain problems.

      Special Materials

      In part, regional air travel returned to pre-crisis levels, in turn also boosting demand for short-haul jets. Hence the major aircraft manufacturers’ construction rates have recovered to the same degree as the entire supply chain. Consequently, this also led to rising orders for the division’s special materials and components. But long-haul air travel still lags behind this development. According to experts, it will not reach pre-crisis levels until 2024/2025.

      Higher investment activity in the oil & natural gas industry resulted in growing orders for the division’s special materials, especially toward the end of the reporting period. This trend is expected to continue throughout the business year 2021/22. While crude oil prices have returned numerous projects to economic viability, the sector is still gripped by uncertainty. The pressure from the political sphere as well as investors on the need to transform this CO2 intensive industry causes the oil majors to adopt a cautious approach despite their high investment needs.

      The HPM Production segment, which comprises the division’s production plants, benefited from the positive market trends. Orders rose sharply but not evenly across all plants, boosting ca­pacity utilization. The heavy-duty truck segment, however, was the only one where the semi-conductor chip shortage caused production orders for die-forging parts to be postponed.

      The start-up of the new special steel plant in Kapfenberg, Austria, is slated for mid-2022. As reported previously, in this connection the COVID-19 pandemic had led to late component deliveries and thus to production delays.

      The expansion of the division’s strategic, cutting-edge Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) capacities continued apace in the first half of the business year 2021/22. Currently, the division operates two research facilities and two pro­duction facilities for manufacturing the powder in Austria and Sweden. It also runs seven Value Added Services facilities in Europe, North ­America, and Asia for assembling components that are manufactured using additive processes.

      The Value Added Services segment (an international sales organization) benefited not only from the rising demand for tool steel but also from demand for services such as coating and heat treating. As a result, this segment succeeded in returning to pre-COVID-19 revenue levels.

      Regional Development


      Demand for tool steel rebounded substantially in Europe thanks, in particular, to the automotive industry. Demand from certain areas of the oil & natural gas industry edged up as well.

      North America

      In North America, sales of tools to the automotive industry improved during the first six months of the business year. Orders from the oil & natural gas industry accelerated toward the end of the reporting period, as did those from the aerospace industry, albeit to a lesser extent. However, the tariffs of 25% that the United States imposed on all steel products a few years ago continue to feed market uncertainty.

      South America

      Conditions in South America have also improved substantially year over year. In addition to growing demand from the oil & natural gas sector, there is strong momentum in both the mechanical engineering and the automotive industries.


      In China, the market environment remained favorable throughout the first half of the business year 2021/22. The division generated strong growth in India, whereas the markets in Southeast Asia were still very subdued owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Financial Key Performance Indicators

      Quarterly development of the High Performance Metals Division

      In millions of euros


      Q 1


      Q 2


      H 1

















      Change in %



      04/01 – 06/30/2020


      04/01 – 06/30/2021


      07/01 – 09/30/2020


      07/01 – 09/30/2021


      04/01 – 09/30/2020


      04/01 – 09/30/2021















































      EBITDA margin






























      EBIT margin















      Employees (full‑time equivalent),
      end of period















      The year-over-year comparison of the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the High Performance Metals Division clearly shows its upward trend during the past two quarters. As a result, revenue for the first half of 2021/22 climbed by more than one third to EUR 1,425.5 million (H 1 2020/21: EUR 1,061.7 million). Aside from improvements in pricing, this revenue increase was driven primarily by the more than 25% increase in delivery volumes.

      Consequently, this also led to significant earnings growth. EBITDA soared by 149.5% year over year, from EUR 76.8 million to EUR 191.6 million. The EBITDA margin shot up accordingly from 7.2% to 13.4%. EBIT for the current business year’s first half is EUR 112.0 million (margin of 7.9%), after EUR –6.2 million (margin of –0.6%) a year earlier on account of the COVID-19 lockdowns.

      The quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) comparison of Q 1 and Q 2 2021/22 shows that revenue rose slightly, while earnings weakened a bit owing to seasonally lower demand. The revenue increase in the current business year’s second quarter by 2.4% to EUR 721.3 million (Q 1 2021/22: EUR 704.2 million), which occurred in tandem with a roughly 5% decline in the sales volume, thus was due chiefly to improved pricing during the Northern summer quarter. Hence the second-quarter decline in EBITDA by 10.7% to EUR 90.4 million (Q 1 2021/22: EUR 101.2 million) was driven mainly by the decline in the sales volume. The higher sale prices were offset by higher raw material costs, thus causing the EBITDA margin to decrease from 14.4% to 12.5%. EBIT fell during the same period by 17.6%, from EUR 61.4 million (margin of 8.7%) to EUR 50.6 million (margin of 7.0%).