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14/05/2013

PRESS RELEASE: GOOD PERFORMANCE IN A GLOOMY ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT

PRESS RELEASE: Good performance in a gloomy economic environment

Luxembourg, 14 May 2013. The ordinary General Meeting of shareholders of Société anonyme Paul WURTH was held on 14 May 2013 under the chairmanship of Mr. Michel Wurth to approve amongst others the financial statements of the year 2012. Despite an unfavourable investment climate, the Group successfully concluded the 2012 financial year.

2012 was also marked by the acquisition by SMS group of a majority stake in Paul Wurth.

Economic climate and commercial situation

Although world crude steel production and consumption in 2012 again reached record highs, the government debt crisis in the euro zone and slower than expected economic growth in China have had a negative effect on the growth of the global economy. Investors throughout all industries, but especially in the iron & steelmaking sector, are acting with caution.

Despite a more difficult economic and commercial environment, the volume of new orders recorded in 2012 by the Paul Wurth Group (507.6 million euros) was more than 20% in excess of the levels contracted in the previous year. This performance is mainly attributable to the large and diversified product portfolio as well as to the increasing success of the Group’s offering in the coke oven and heavy load handling system segments.

Operational activity

In terms of project execution, the Group successfully finalised the following major projects in the year under review: 

  • new blast furnace No. 3 for Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd at Visakhapatnam (India), commissioned in April 2012;
  • new blast furnace ‘I’ for Tata Steel, Jamshedpur (India), blown-in in April 2012;
  • commissioning of battery B1 at Zentralkokerei Saar (Dillingen, Germany) in October 2012;
  • commissioning in December 2012 of the first pulverised coal injection plant installed in Russia for JSC Evraz Nizhniy Tagil.

The Group further developed its business by forming in November 2012 a 50/50 joint venture with IHI Corporation from Japan. Through Paul Wurth IHI Co., Ltd, the Group will now be able to market its blast furnace and cokemaking technologies in Japan, one of the few steel markets in which Paul Wurth has not until now maintained an own presence.

A new majority stakeholder

Paul Wurth joined the SMS group on 17 December 2012 after the German group acquired 59.1 percent of the shares in Paul Wurth S.A. previously owned by ArcelorMittal (48.1 %) and the Luxembourg investment company Luxempart (11.0 %). SMS group is one of the international leaders in plant and mechanical engineering for the industrial production and processing of steel and non-ferrous metals.

With their mutually complementary product ranges, the two companies can together service the entire process chain in steelmaking. The fact that both have sound technological know-how and a global market position forms a steady foundation for further growth. 

Results for the financial year 2012

Turnover for the year was 454.2 million euros and Paul Wurth closed the financial year with earnings before tax of 17.8 million euros. The General Meeting thus approved the payment of an unchanged gross dividend of 420 euros per share on account of the 2012 financial year.

Outlook

As long as the major economies remain preoccupied by budgetary consolidation and austerity policies, the Group’s customers will stay cautious and limit capital expenditure to the strict necessary. However, the Group believes that further growth potential can be generated by markets it entered into only relatively recently. These mainly comprise the up-stream processes and installations to the blast furnace (coke oven and sinter plants) and, geographically speaking, the Japanese market. Finally, the continued efforts to broaden its product range and the realization of identified synergies with the parent company’s new controlling shareholder shall all help to meet the next stage in Paul Wurth’s history with confidence.

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PAUL WURTH S.A.

 32, rue d'Alsace

 L-1122 Luxembourg

 LUXEMBOURG

 P.O. Box 2233

 L-1022 Luxembourg

 LUXEMBOURG

 Tel.: (+352) 4970-1

 Fax.: (+352) 4970-2209

 paulwurth@paulwurth.com

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