The revenue of the voestalpine Group rose by 6.7% from EUR 3.3 billion in the first quarter of 2017/18 to just under EUR 3.5 billion in the first quarter of 2018/19—the highest level ever recorded for a business quarter. While all four divisions contributed to this revenue growth, the Metal Forming Division provided the greatest boost thanks to the continuous expansion of its automotive activities. Even the Steel Division succeeded in expanding its revenue despite the major blast furnace repairs and an (equally planned) three-week maintenance shutdown at its HBI facility in Texas. Higher sales prices along with rising delivery volumes were responsible for the increase in the revenue of both the High Performance Metals Division and the Metal Engineering Division.
The voestalpine Group’s performance in terms of profits was largely stable. At EUR 513 million, EBITDA in the first quarter of 2018/19 was practically identical to the previous year’s level of EUR 513.8 million, but the EBITDA margin fell from 15.8% in the previous year to 14.8% in the first quarter of the current business year due to the higher revenue. Slightly higher depreciation lowered the Group’s EBIT by 1.5%, from EUR 329 million in the previous year to EUR 324 million in the reporting quarter. The EBIT margin dropped from 10.1% to 9.3% in the same period. Due to the lower net interest expense as well as the declining tax rate, there was a slight year-over-year improvement in each of the categories, “profit before tax” (increase to EUR 294 million from EUR 292 million in the previous year) and “profit after tax” (increase to EUR 224 million from EUR 218 million in the previous year).
While the gearing ratio (net financial debt as a percentage of equity) as of June 30, 2018, declined to 49.0% from 53.8% as of June 30, 2017, it rose slightly compared with the March 31, 2018, reporting date (45.7%). At EUR 6.8 billion, equity as of June 30, 2018, improved yet again not just year over year (EUR 6.2 billion as of June 30, 2017), but also compared to the annual reporting date (EUR 6.6 billion as of March 31, 2018). As of June 30, 2018, the voestalpine Group had 51,827 employees (FTE)—an increase of about 3.6% year over year and a new high.