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10/05/2011

TECHNOLOGICAL EXCELLENCE – GUARANTOR OF PAUL WURTH'S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Technological excellence – guarantor of Paul Wurth's business development

Luxembourg, 10 May 2011. The ordinary General Meeting of shareholders of Paul Wurth S.A. was held today under the chairmanship of Mr. Michel WURTH to approve amongst others the financial statements of the year 2010.

The gradual improvement of the economic climate observed since the start of 2010 translated into a return to normal utilisation rates of iron and steel production capacities and the unfreezing of capital expenditure activity. As a result, Paul Wurth enjoyed a good year 2010.

Accompanying its customers in the recovery

With fewer uncertainties weighing on its general business climate compared with 2009 and benefitting from the trust placed in it by its customers,  Paul Wurth could largely increase the volume of new orders to 550.3 million euros compared with 2009 (+30,9%). Geographically, it is revealing that 80.6% of new contracts originate from BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), an indication witnessing clearly that the centre of gravity for the production of iron and steel has shifted to Asia and Brazil.

In terms of operations, Paul Wurth’s teams had a significant workload the world over in 2010. No fewer than six blast furnaces – either new constructions or complete relines – were commissioned. Two flagship projects, the construction of two blast furnaces at Hyundai Steel in Dangjin/South Korea and the construction of two blast furnaces at ThyssenKrupp CSA Siderúrgica do Atlântico at Santa Cruz in Brazil, could be completed. These large-size projects do not just use all Paul Wurth state-of-the-art technologies in the production of hot metal but also demonstrate the Group’s project management expertise on an international scale.

Two other key events in 2010 were the commissioning, for Zentralkokerei Saar at Dillingen, of the first coking plant designed and constructed entirely by Paul Wurth and the ramp up of the industrial operation of the by-product recycling plant at Lucchini S.p.A Piombino in Italy, using the Group’s proprietary RedIron™  technology.

Competitiveness through innovation and diversification 

In keeping with tradition, Paul Wurth continued also in 2010 to develop its range of technology through an ambitious R&D programme. While this is part of a proactive approach with regard to the environment and energy, it also helps, through optimised technological solutions, to fend off increasing competitive pressures. Besides the commissioning of the third-generation Bell Less Top® at Dillinger Hütte’s No. 5 blast furnace, the R&D work in 2010 mainly concentrated on recovering energy from the liquid slag leaving the blast furnace and on exploiting the energy potential from excess blast furnace gases.  Applications for 20 new patents were lodged in the course of the year.

Moreover, the parent’s shareholding in CTI Systems S.A. - a company specialised in the design and manufacture of automated materials handling and heavy-duty storage systems - was increased in April 2011 from 50.4% to 75.2%.

Results for the financial year 2010

Given the turndown in order intake during 2009, the Group’s consolidated turnover reached 577.3 million euros in 2010, slightly down compared with the previous financial year. With a net profit of 21.2 million euros, the Group’s results were in line with the previous year’s levels (21.6 million euros).

Given these results, the General Meeting approved the payment of an unchanged gross dividend of 420 euros per share on account of the 2010 financial year.

Outlook

Future capital expenditure in the iron and steelmaking industry will concentrate on developing countries, in particular Brazil, Russia, India and South-East Asia. Carefully shadowing this trend, Paul Wurth will strengthen even further its presence in these emerging countries. Paul Wurth will also continue to improve its cost competitiveness by eventually linking up with successful local partners and by pursuing its proactive global procurement policy.

The commercial investments spent in 2010 and the Group’s technological backbone allow Paul Wurth to be optimistic about being associated to those projects which will definitively go ahead over the next months. 

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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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