The return on capital employed (ROCE) – an important KPI in addition to operating EBT – rose to 11.0 per cent (previous year: 0.3per cent). Higher treatment charges for copper concentrates and an increase in the concentrate throughput in particular contributed to the good results compared to the previous year, when Q1 was strongly impacted by the large-scale maintenance and repair shutdown in Hamburg.
A higher cathode premium, a slight increase in sulfuric acid prices, good availability of copper scrap with stable refining charges and good overall demand for our copper products also had a positive effect. Unscheduled repairs and scheduled maintenance shutdowns at the Hamburg, Lünen and Pirdop sites strained earnings. The Aurubis group’s revenues amounted to 2,635 million euro (previous year: 2,793 million euro). The decrease is primarily due to lower sales of cathodes and precious metals. The net cash flow was 102 million euro, considerably down on to previous year’s 300 million euro. The prior-year figure was unusually high because working capital that had been built up for the large-scale shutdown in Hamburg was reduced again in the course of Q1 2013/14. Earnings before taxes (EBT) based on IFRS increased to 33 million euro (previous year: -73 million euro). In contrast to operating earnings, IFRS earnings include measurement effects due to copper price fluctuations and other factors. Therefore, the operating earnings are decisive for Aurubis in assessing the business performance and managing the company.
The international copper market will likely be fundamentally well supported in 2015. Market observers expect a low surplus or a balanced copper cathode market. Aurubis therefore anticipates good demand for cathodes with a high premium level. It also expects a good supply on the copper concentrate market with high treatment charges. The same applies to the copper scrap market, which nevertheless reacts more sensitively to copper price changes: falling copper prices could temporarily impact availability and refining charges in this area. Salees of sulfuric acid are anticipated to remain stable.
The trends on Aurubis’ product markets vary: while anticipating stable sales of copper rod, market observers forecast stagnating demand for shapes. More difficult conditions are expected on the markets for strip products as well. Positive contributions to earnings are expected from the strong US dollar since a significant portion of Aurubis’ revenues is US dollar-based.
“Step Up” For Growth
A project to improve results started for the Hamburg and Lünen sites in autumn. It includes measures to enhance efficiency in material management, production and maintenance. In addition, the group-wide “Step Up” programme was established with the objectives of growth, increasing efficiency, reducing costs and optimising the net working assets.
source and further details: