Global materials technology and recycling group Umicore, headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, has published its 2019 Integrated Annual Report which reporting that the group’s revenues for the full year grew by 3% to €3.4 billion and recurring EBITDA increased 5% to €753 million, while recurring EBIT was €509 million, close to the record levels of 2018.
Umicore states that its performance in Energy & Surface Technologies was well below the record levels of 2018 due to a temporary market slowdown as well as the impact of depressed cobalt prices and competition from unethically sourced cobalt from artisanal mining. In addition, the performance reflected higher depreciation charges and upfront costs related to its greenfield investments.
The 2019 report continues to focus on the elements that drive Umicore’s business and this year includes expanded content on innovation, on the group’s sustainable products and services, as well as on human rights and Umicore’s role and mission in the value chain. The report also includes Umicore’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic: to keep people healthy, to ensure safe working conditions and to preserve cash. With a strong balance sheet and ample liquidity, Umicore expects to emerge from the crisis ready to resume its growth trajectory.
“In 2019 we posted a strong performance in a challenging market environment and made significant strides in the execution of our growth strategy in all three major activities, while again reaching the original financial target of our Horizon 2020 strategic plan,” stated Marc Grynberg, CEO, Umicore. “We signed multi-year agreements with leading EV battery producers and concluded long-term supply partnerships for sustainable cobalt. We commissioned our new Process competence center in Belgium and a fuel cell catalyst plant in Korea, and acquired the Kokkola cobalt refinery in Finland. We contributed to the creation of a sustainable and innovative battery value chain for EVs in Europe and were instrumental in the clear sustainability principles for the rechargeable battery industry issued by the Global Battery Alliance. Technology innovation and our ongoing growth investments promise further value creation once the current pandemic is behind us.”