Umicore set a record performance in 2017 on the back of strong growth in Energy & Surface Technologies.
- Revenues of € 2.9 billion (+9%) or € 2.8 billion (+16%) excluding discontinued operations
- Recurring EBITDA of € 599 million (+14%) or € 587 million (+18%) excluding discontinued operations
- Recurring EBIT of € 410 million (+17%) or € 398 million (+24%) excluding discontinued operations
- ROCE of 15.1% (versus 14.6% in 2016)
- Recurring net profit (Group share) of € 267 million (+15%) and recurring EPS of € 1.22 (+14%)
- Net debt at € 840 million of which € 690 million long term private debt
- Capital expenditures of € 365 million
The portfolio was considerably simplified with the divestments of Building Products, the European activities of Technical Materials and the large area coatings activity of Thin Film Products. This completes the portfolio realignment that was announced in 2015.
The Board of Directors will propose an increase of the gross annual dividend to € 0.70 per share at the Annual General Meeting on 26 April 2018 of which € 0.325 was already paid out as an interim dividend in August 2017.
Outlook for 2018
Umicore anticipates that it will approach already in 2018 its Horizon 2020 target of doubling recurring EBIT (from the 2014 base – excluding discontinued operations) to a level of € 500 million, driven by buoyant demand for cathode materials and the fast ramp-up of new production lines in South Korea and China. The Catalysis and Recycling activities will also continue to contribute to profit growth. This outlook assumes that current macroeconomic conditions continue to prevail.
Rechargeable Battery Materials is powering ahead with a new investment of € 660 million in China and Europe that will bring total capacity to at least 175,000 metric tons by 2021.
Given this growth acceleration Umicore now sees an upside potential of some 35 to 45% compared to the original Horizon 2020 recurring EBIT target, while maintaining the 15%+ ROCE target at Group level. This assumes current macroeconomic conditions continue to prevail.
Umicore launches a capital increase of new ordinary shares through an accelerated bookbuild. The proceeds will be used to fund growth investments, particularly in cathode materials and will provide more financial flexibility to pursue potential acquisitions and partnerships that would further strengthen Umicore’s offering in clean mobility materials and recycling.
The new shares from the capital increase will be entitled to a dividend payment of € 0.375 corresponding to the balance of the gross annual dividend for 2017, subject to shareholders’ approval of a full year dividend of € 0.70 per share.