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

      Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the investment volume of the voestalpine Group in the previous business year fell substantially short of depreciation for the first time in roughly a decade. Investing activity in the first half of the business year 2021/22 was moderate. On the whole, capitalization of tangible and intangible assets and interests even fell slightly in the reporting period by 2.3% year over year, from EUR 244.9 million to EUR 239.2 million.

      The Steel Division entered a consolidation phase in recent years after implementing a number of major projects. During the current business year, however, the division will once again trend toward expanding its investment volume. Accordingly, its investments grew by 28.4%, from EUR 59.5 million in the first half of the business year 2020/21 to EUR 76.4 million in the business year 2021/22. The groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a new pickling line (BETA3) at the production plant in Linz, Austria, already took place in early October 2021. Once it has been integrated into the existing cold rolling mill, BETA3 (investment budget: EUR 188 million) will enable further quality enhancements in the production of high and highest tensile steels for the automotive, consumer goods, and construction industries as well as of electrical steel strip for e-mobility applications. This investment establishes new sustainability standards, moreover: Instead of using sulfuric acid for pickling, in the future these operations will be accomplished using hydrochloric acid.

      At EUR 76.8 million, investments in the High Performance Metals Division during the first half of the business year 2021/22 were lower year over year (EUR 97.9 million). The voestalpine Group continues to push its currently single largest construction project, specifically, the new special steel plant in Kapfenberg, Austria. For example, the cold tests in the smelting area were launched at the start of the current business year. The detail engineering for the supply of media and power to the casting facility was also carried out during the reporting period. The scheduled plant function tests are planned for the end of calendar year 2021, so that the first smelting tests can be effected in the Northern spring of calendar year 2022. The start-up of the new special steel plant, finally, is slated for the Northern summer of 2022. During the reporting period, Villares Metals in Sumaré, Brazil, commissioned an electroslag remelting (ESR) unit. This investment was made in response to rising demand for high quality tool steel grades and nickel-base alloys. Villares Metals also invested in the expansion of service centers at several of its facilities in Brazil.

      At EUR 37.7 million, the investment volume of the Metal Engineering Division in the first half of the business year 2021/22 was moderate (H 1 2020/21: EUR 42.1 million). The start-up in the previous business year of the continuous casting facility (CC4) at the plant in Donawitz, Austria, successfully completed the series of larger projects that the division undertook in recent years. In the current business year, the focus is on modest replacement investments and/or projects serving to boost efficiency and productivity.

      At EUR 42.7 million, the investment expenditure of the Metal Forming Division in the first half of the business year 2021/22 more or less matched the previous year’s level (EUR 42.0 million). The investments of the Automotive Components business segment in the current business year are lower and are focused on optimizing existing plant, but they do constitute necessary and forward-looking investments. This year, the fifteenth phs unit will be started up in Shenyang, China, based on the company’s global, patented steel innovation—phs-ultraform®—that establishes new benchmarks for the lightweight construction of autobody parts.