H.C. Starck has reported 2012 sales of €862.9 million, slightly lower than the strong sales of €883.2 million reported in 2011. As of December 31, 2012, the company had 2,926 employees, some 65% of which based in Europe, 22% in North America and 15% in Asia.
“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,” stated Andreas Meier, Chairman of the H.C. Starck Executive Board.
In 2012, H.C. Starck was able to strengthen its powder business by gaining market share for high capacity tantalum powders and by significantly expanding its niobium business.
H.C. Starck reports that the company has 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.
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.
Further expansion planned in Asia
H.C. Starck has announced that it plans to continue expanding its local presence in Asia. In 2011, the company 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.
The production capacity for components made of technology metals at H.C. Starck’s Taicang plant in China will be expanded. “With our joint ventures and our growing recycling activities, we are providing our global customers long-term supply security for key technology metals,” stated Meier.
Since mid-2012, H.C. Starck has operated 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. “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.” stated Meier. “Far more than half of our raw materials are now secondary materials,”