“While the oil and natural gas sectors continue to be extremely challenging, the steel sector profited in the most recent quarter from the positive effects of higher prices that had been signalized in the previous quarter. Furthermore, important customer segments remained constant at a high level, in particular the automotive industry and the aerospace sector, but the consumer goods industry as well.”
Dominated primarily by significant positive non-recurring effects in the same period of the previous year on one hand and on the other, impacted by the current still difficult economic conditions, a year-to-year comparison of the first six months (H1 2015/16 to H1 2016/17) shows a downward trend of the key economic indicators. A weaker price environment—due not least to lower pre-material costs—and continuing challenging conditions in the oil and natural gas sectors—were mainly responsible for the decline in revenue by 6.5% from EUR 5.8 billion to EUR 5.4 billion in the first half of 2016/17.
In a comparison of the results of the first six months with those of the previous year, EBITDA declined by 21% from EUR 892 million to EUR 705 million, while EBIT fell by 35.9% from EUR 575 million to EUR 369 million. However, because the previously mentioned positive non-recurring effects were due to consolidation changes in the Metal Engineering Division in the same period of the previous year, the comparison has limited informative value as far as operational figures are concerned. Taking these non-recurring effects (not related to operations) into consideration, consolidated EBITDA in the first half of 2016/17 is EUR 705 million, just 6.6% behind last year’s figure of EUR 755 million. The adjusted EBITDA margin remained constant at 13%. The decline of EBIT, adjusted for non-recurring effects, was 16.3%, going from EUR 450 million (margin: 7.8%) to EUR 376 million (margin: 7.0%).
In part as a consequence of a level of investment that was considerably reduced in comparison to the previous year—albeit still above the level of depreciation—and the payment of dividends in the second quarter, the gearing ratio (net financial debt in percent of equity) increased both in a year-over-year comparison and in a comparison with the reporting date of the business year 2015/16. While it was 57% as of the reporting date of September 30, 2015 and 55% as of March 31, 2016, as of September 30, 2016, it was at 60%. Investment expenditure declined compared to the first half of 2015/16 by 27.3% from EUR 647 million to EUR 471 million.
As of September 30, 2016, the voestalpine Group had 48,786 employees (FTE). In a year-to-year comparison, this is an increase of 0.1 %.