The largely stable development of the voestalpine Group, especially in comparison to traditional steel companies, is due to the Company's business model. This year again, the Metal Engineering and Metal Forming Divisions, with their portfolios that are focused on downstream products and applications, but also the Special Steel Division with its special products, ensured a business performance that was consistently gratifying. Despite a difficult economic environment, the Metal Forming Division was able to substantially increase both EBITDA (+8.2%) and EBIT (+10.2%), while the results of the Special Steel Division (EBITDA –2.3%, EBIT +1.2%) and the Metal Engineering Division (EBITDA +0.6%, EBIT –0.2%) remained mostly stable at the previous year’s level.
Thus, with regard to the key figures EBITDA and EBIT margin and ROCE that were maintained at a stable and high level, the Metal Engineering Division was again the best division in the Group. But the Metal Forming Division as well found markets for its business segments that demonstrated a solid level of demand, primarily for automobile parts and components. The Steel and Special Steel Divisions, which are more cyclical, were more strongly affected by the intermittently difficult market environment in Europe than the downstream divisions. While the Special Steel Division, with its global positioning, was able to compensate the weaknesses in Europe through its international business, the Steel Division suffered setbacks, not least due to its geographic focus on Europe, with its continuing structural overcapacity that allows very little room to set prices, even in the top quality segment. Against this backdrop, the Steel Division incurred a significant decline in earnings (EBITDA –12%, EBIT –25.5%).