Executive Board assessment of the Aurubis Group during fiscal year 2014/15
The Aurubis Group ended fiscal year 2014/15 with outstanding results that significantly exceeded our initial expectations. Operating consolidated earnings before taxes (EBT) reached € 343 million (previous year: € 137 million). Nevertheless, we continued working on improvements throughout the Group. A program was initiated with a number of optimization and efficiency enhancement projects, some of which went into effect in the course of the fiscal year. The purpose of these projects is to make Aurubis more independent from the developments in its environment and on the markets.
In the scope of a reorganization, the Group’s structure was adjusted so that reporting in fiscal year 2014/15 focuses on just two Business Units, BU Primary Copper and BU Copper Products. The sectors that used to be included in BU Recycling/Precious Metals were allocated to these two BUs. Both BUs are supported by the newly formed Supply Chain Management division, which is responsible for group-wide raw material management and includes the optimization of the procurement and production processes in an integrated system. Moreover, sales of sulfuric acid, precious metals and other specialty products are assigned to this division.
Both Business Units achieved a positive result but at considerably different levels. The varying trends in the individual markets had an impact in particular, as did the very good metal gain. The internal operating ROCE target of 15 % for the entire Group was exceeded with 18.7 %.
Business development in BU Primary Copper was characterized by very good concentrate markets, which enabled not only a good supply but also strong increases in treatment and refining charges. The trend on the copper scrap markets was also positive. While throughputs were slightly higher year on year, they were below our expectations. Sales prices for sulfuric acid rose sharply due to the market conditions. Higher cathode premiums also had a positive influence.
The development in BU Copper Products varied. The recycling business, which shifted within the organization, benefited from a good supply and delivered good contributions to earnings thanks to considerable increases in refining charges. The rod and shapes business improved compared to the prior year. The restructuring of Business Line Flat Rolled Products continued. The somewhat improved business performance was accompanied by a higher contribution to earnings. There were positive earnings effects in this BU as a result of the increased cathode premiums as well.
Due to the good business results in particular, the net cash flow was € 365 million.
The Aurubis Group’s balance sheet structure is very robust. The equity ratio (operating) is 47.3 %.