Taking all non-recurring effects into account, the voestalpine Group generated an operating result (EBITDA) in the first half of 2015/16 of EUR 892 million; this is an increase of 17.9% compared to the previous year’s figure of EUR 757 million. Even adjusted for the non-recurring effects, there is a gain of 9.3% to EUR 755 million. The adjusted EBITDA margin improved from 12.4% to 13.0%. At EUR 575 million, profit from operations (EBIT) also rose substantially by 29.4% compared to EUR 445 million in the previous year (adjusted for the non-recurring effects, EUR 450 million, +12.7%). The adjusted EBIT margin rose from 7.2% to 7.8%. With the exception of the Metal Engineering Division, which was most severely affected by the negative results of the decline in the oil/natural gas sector, all of the divisions reported a higher EBIT margin after exclusion of the non-recurring effects.
At EUR 506 million, profit before tax in the first half of 2015/16 rose by 29.1% compared to the previous year (EUR 392 million). Profit before tax includes non-recurring effects amounting to EUR 125.2 million (previous year: EUR 45.2 million). Even adjusted by these non-recurring effects (EUR 381 million), this figure is still 9.8% higher than the previous year’s figure. Profit for the period rose by about one third from EUR 316 million to EUR 421 million. Due to the specific tax treatment of these non-recurring effects, in the first half of 2015/16, they contain extraordinary amounts of EUR 130.4 million (previous year: EUR 43.4 million), resulting in an adjusted profit for the period of EUR 290 million (previous year: EUR 272 million, +6.6%).
Equity increased by 11.7% in a year-to-year comparison to EUR 5.5 billion. In addition to the solid earnings trend in recent quarters, changes in consolidation (from equity to full consolidation) as of April 1, 2015 also contributed to the rise in equity. Another positive effect in the first half of 2015/16 was the capital increase of 1.45% of share capital slated to be used for the continuing development of the employee shareholding program. For 15 years, this program has been viewed throughout Europe as a unique and successful model that makes the voestalpine employees the second largest shareholder of the Group. This increase boosted equity by another EUR 85.3 million. Compared to the reporting date in the business year 2014/15 (March 31, 2015), equity rose by 8% from EUR 5.1 billion to EUR 5.5 billion.
Net financial debt increased by 8.8% in a year-to-year comparison, going from EUR 2.9 billion to EUR 3.2 billion. Compared to the reporting date of March 31, 2015 (EUR 3 billion), net financial debt rose by 5.9%. This increase compared to the prior reporting date is due to the Group’s considerable investment activity in the current business year and the payment of dividends in the second quarter of 2015/16. The gearing ratio (net financial debt in percent of equity) improved from 58.8% as of the end of September 2014 to currently 57.2% (as of March 31, 2015, it was at 58.4%). With 48,719 employees (FTE) as of September 30, 2015, a plus of 2.8%, the workforce of the voestalpine Group is at a record high.