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Highlights 2014

Economic

The business context in 2014 remained challenging for Umicore. This was mainly due the effects of lower metal prices and currency headwinds. Recurring EBIT was 10 % below the level of 2013 and corresponding to a return on capital employed of 12.2%.

We successfully completed the first major phase of the Hoboken capacity expansion and also completed or announced major growth initiatives in the Automotive Catalyst activities. The growth in Rechargeable Battery Materials continued to be supported by an almost continuous stream of capacity and capability enhancements, particularly in South Korea and China.  In 2014 our organic growth initiatives were nicely complemented by external growth in Energy Materials through the acquisitions of Todini & Co and CP Chemicals.

We were able to balance a continued high level of growth investments with a substantial level of cash returns to our shareholders in 2014. In total, share buybacks and dividend payments amounted to € 187 million, which represented more than 40% of the cashflow from operations. We also cancelled eight million of our treasury shares. Umicore’s Board will propose a stable full year dividend of €1.00 a share for approval by shareholders in April, which would correspond to a payout ratio of 56%.