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Aurubis Achieves Highest Results in Company’s History

Europe's largest copper smelter more than doubled its operating earnings before taxes (EBT) to € 343 million in fiscal year 2014/15 compared to the previous year

Despite weaker copper demand, Hamburg-based Aurubis Group presented very satisfactory results on Thursday, with with EBT doubled and operating return on capital employed (ROCE) reaching an excellent 18.7 per cent (previous year: 8.5 %).

Good Jubilee News

“We will celebrate our company’s 150th anniversary on April 28, 2016. The fact that we are able to conclude the 149th fiscal year with record earnings makes us very satisfied and confident that we are on the right path with Aurubis,” commented Aurubis Executive Board Spokesman Erwin Faust regarding the successful fiscal year 2014/15.

Significantly higher treatment and refining charges for the input materials copper concentrate and copper scrap, a strong increase in sulfuric acid prices worldwide and a higher cathode premium contributed to the very good results in particular. High capacity utilisation, a good metal gain and a favorable mix of input materials supported this good development. Sales of copper products varied: while sales rose somewhat for wire rod, they declined slightly overall for the other copper products.

Results Exceed Expectations

“The results exceed the expectations we held at the start of the fiscal year considerably. During the past fiscal year, we had the advantage of good conditions on all of the relevant markets and no larger disruptions in our facilities. It was ‘all systems go’ in almost every respect,” Faust summed up the aspects relevant to earnings. He is currently managing the company together with Dr. Stefan Boel.

At 10,995 million euro the Aurubis Group’s revenues were 246 million euro lower than the previous year (11,241 million euro) due first and foremost to lower sales of copper products. Aurubis’ revenues are generally strongly tied to metal prices and thus are not a suitable indicator of the company’s business performance.

Positive Outlook

Varying trends are already evident for the anniversary year 2016: while Aurubis still anticipates a good supply of copper concentrates and high treatment and refining charges, there are weaknesses in the copper scrap markets. Lower metal prices cause scrap traders to reduce their collection activity and retain material, which is reflected in supply shortages and lower refining charges in the copper scrap market. There has also been a supply surplus on the sulfuric acid markets since the start of the new fiscal year, with corresponding price pressure. Improvement on these very volatile markets isn’t detectable at the moment.

“Overall, we expect our business to normalize to a certain extent. We also anticipate good results for fiscal year 2015/16, though they won’t reach the past year’s record results. Compared to the very good prior year, we thus expect significantly lower operating earnings before taxes. Operating ROCE will also decrease considerably,” concluded Erwin Faust.

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