Voestalpine’s 2011/12 earnings fall 19% year-on-year

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Voestalpine’s earnings fell by 18.9% year-on-year in the 12 months to March 31, 2012, mostly due to one-off costs in its railway division, according to a statement published on Wednesday May 30.

The Austrian steelmaking group posted earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) of €1.3 billion ($1.63 billion) for the full 2011/12 year, compared with €1.6 billion in the previous year.

Extra costs related to antitrust investigations into the group’s railway division, as well as a closure of its rail subsidiary in Duisburg, Germany, reached €205 million.

Earnings before interest and taxes (Ebit) showed a much bigger hit, down by 28.5% year-on-year to €704.2 million due to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and slowdowns in China and Brazil.

Excluding the one-off charge, Ebit fell by only 7.7% to €909.2 million, mainly due to a poor performance by the group’s steel division.

This is better than the previously expected 10% Ebit drop after one-offs forecast by Voestalpine ceo Wolfgang Eder on May 14.

However, despite the economic circumstances, revenue performance in the steel division revenue improved, showing a rise of 7.6% year-on-year.

“The strongly volatile development of [the steel division’s] results was due to fears surrounding the economy and structural overcapacity in Europe,” the company said.

Total revenue for the year rose by 10.1% year-on-year to €12.06 billion, with the automotive division reporting the largest revenue growth of 17.7%, owing to uninterrupted demand from premium car manufacturers.

Revenue in the special steel division rose by 11.9% to €2.9 million, from €2.6 in the corresponding period last year.

“Today, the three processing divisions are generating two-thirds of the group’s revenue and, for the past several quarters, their stable operating results have been largely compensating the volatility of steel,” Eder said.