Against this backdrop, revenue rose by 14.2%, from EUR 11.3 billion to EUR 12.9 billion year over year. The operating result (EBITDA) was as pleasing, improving even more impressively, by 26.8% from EUR 1.54 billion to EUR 1.95 billion. Consequently, the EBITDA margin rose from 13.6% in the previous year to its current level of 15.2%, thus exceeding the Group’s strategic target of 14% (for the business year 2020/21). The increase in the profit from operations (EBIT) was even stronger: at EUR 1.18 billion (a margin of 9.1%), it jumped by 43.3% over the previous year’s level (EUR 823 million, margin of 7.3%). The profit before and after tax also significantly surpassed previous levels. Specifically, the profit before tax soared by 48.9% compared to the previous year, from EUR 700 million to around EUR 1.04 billion, and the profit after tax by 55.2%, from EUR 527 million to currently EUR 818 million.
Within the Group, the Steel Division with its focus on high quality steels generated the greatest growth year over year, posting the highest operating result (EBITDA) of its history at around EUR 910 million. Despite massive increases in pre-material inventories for the long-planned, comprehensive repairs of blast furnace A in Linz scheduled for early June to mid-September 2018, the division succeeded in maintaining its delivery volumes and, at the same time, used the positive environment to expand its gross margin. Moreover, with their consistent internationalization and continuous growth, the processing divisions contributed to the Group’s excellent performance in both revenue and earnings.