H.C. Starck Achieves Successful Fiscal Year 2012 Despite Considerable Economic
MUNICH, March 20, 2013
MUNICH, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of customer-specific powders and
components made from technology metals and advanced ceramics, has sustained
its position in 2012 despite a more difficult market environment. The company
achieved 862.9 million euros in sales, after 883.2 million euros in the
extraordinary strong growth year 2011. As of December 31, 2012, the company
had 2,926 employees (2011: 2,816).
"After a very strong fiscal year 2011, growth has slowed down in 2012.
Especially in the second half of the year, global economy cooled down and our
customers were somehow reluctant to place new orders. Nevertheless, H.C.
Starck was able expand its market position in all major industries, maintain
its sales at the level of the previous year despite falling metal prices, and
achieve the second best result in the last ten years," said Andreas Meier,
Chairman of the H.C. Starck Executive Board. "Our key success factors were the
successful implementation of flexibility measures in the past, and our unique
expertise in the production of technology metals."
2012: Strengthening market position in the powder business, entering the LED
market, growing local production footprint in Asia
In 2012, H.C. Starck was able to strengthen its powder business by gaining
market share for high capacity tantalum powders and expanding its niobium
business significantly. In the business segment of fabricated products and
components, H.C. Starck has successfully responded to strong demand from the
semiconductor industry and the chemical processing industry. Also, the company
successfully expanded into the rapidly growing market of high temperature
furnaces with the production of highly complex heat shields and crucibles made
of molybdenum and tungsten for sapphire furnaces used in LED production.
Investing into growth areas continues to have highest priority at H.C. Starck.
In 2012, the company invested a double-digit million euro sum in the expansion
of its Asia business and in the targeted expansion of production capacities at
its German sites. Research and development activities of H.C. Starck focused
on a new generation of high capacity tantalum powders. These powders are used
to produce high-performance tantalum capacitors which are employed in modern
electronic devices such as smartphones, Ultrabooks and tablet PCs. Other
research and development activities included process improvements,
particularly for technology metal recycling.
A secure supply of high-quality and conflict-free raw is also an important
part of H.C. Starck's business philosophy. Accordingly, the company continued
its initiatives to ensure a conflict-free supply of raw materials: In May
2012, the company received certification as a "conflict-free smelter" from
Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) for the second consecutive
time for its tantalum processing operations.
2013: Focus on business expansion in Asia
This year, H.C. Starck intends to continue expanding its local presence in
Asia. Thanks to its leading technological expertise, the company will meet the
rising demand for high-quality technology metal products long-term in key
Asian growth markets. Already in 2011, the company had formed a joint venture
with the largest Chinese tungsten mine operator, Jiangxi Rare Metals Tungsten
Holding Group Co. Ltd. (JXTC). The joint venture will begin operations in late
2013 and supply the Asian market with high-quality tungsten products.
Moreover, the production capacity for components made of technology metals at
H.C. Starck's Taicang plant in China will be expanded. Meier explained: "With
our joint ventures and our growing recycling activities, we are providing our
global customers long-term supply security for key technology metals."
H.C. Starck will also continue to drive future technologies. Since mid-2012,
H.C. Starck operates a joint venture with the Japanese chemical company Japan
New Chisso Corp.. The joint venture company develops and produces cathode
material for high-performance lithium ion batteries used in electric cars and
as energy storage units in wind power and solar facilities.
Part of H.C. Starck's long-term strategy is the recycling of raw materials,
continued Meier: "We don't just recycle ore concentrates. Using innovative
technologies, we are recycling increasing volumes of post-industrial waste,
slags, and scraps and turning them into high quality and high-performance
technology metals. Far more than half of our raw materials are now secondary
materials." In the procurement of primary raw materials, the company continues
to rely exclusively on conflict-free raw materials in accordance with the
guidelines of the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition. "With growing
recycling activities and a certified procurement process, we are guaranteeing
a secure and competitive supply of raw materials based on sustainable, ethical
and social guidelines and environmental principles," Meier said.
About H.C. Starck
The H.C. Starck Group is a leading global supplier of technology metals and
advanced ceramics, and serves growing industries such as the electronics,
chemicals, automotive, medical technology, aerospace, energy technology, and
environmental technology industries, as well as engineering companies and tool
manufacturers, from its own 12 manufacturing facilities located in Europe,
America, and Asia. As of December 31, 2012, the company had 2,926 employees in
the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, China, Japan, and Thailand.
Additional news about the company can be found at http://www.hcstarck.com.
H.C. Starck GmbH
Director Corporate Communications
SOURCE H.C. Starck GmbH
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