In the last fiscal year ending 28 February, 2013, the Plansee Group generated sales of €1.23 billion (compared with €1.52 billion in the previous year). Consolidated group sales were down by 19%. The main reason for this was the sale of the PMG division at the end of 2011. The figures also reflect the customers’ cautious purchasing strategies and a fall in the prices of raw materials.

“Bearing in mind that we have had to operate in a global market environment characterized by uncertainty and that previously booming China provided only little stimulus, we are extremely satisfied,” said Dr Michael Schwarzkopf, chairman of the executive board of the Plansee Group. “In financial terms, 2012/13 even turned out to be our second most successful year ever.”

As in the preceding year, sales outside of Europe accounted for 52% of the Plansee Group total (America 31%, Asia 21%, Europe 48%). Half of group sales were achieved in three sectors: mechanical engineering, automotive and consumer electronics, Schwarzkopf added.

The Plansee Group has increased its holding in the Chilean company Molymet to 14%. Molymet has annual revenues of US$1.2 billion and 1620 employees. Molymet is the world's largest processor of molybdenum ore concentrates, with a market share of 30%. "In the last fiscal year, Molymet raised its holding in the West's largest processor of rare earth metals, the US company Molycorp, to 20% of the shares.," Dr Schwarzkopf said. "This increases the strategic value of our holding over the long term."  

The Ceratizit division acquired a 50% holding in the German tool manufacturer Günther Wirth. The company employs 400 staff at five production sites.

Plansee Group expects business to remain stable over the current fiscal year. "We are not expecting any significant growth stimulus,” Dr Schwarzkopf noted. “The uncertainty in the financial markets and the sovereign debt crisis are simply too much of an obstacle." He said that Plansee Group would focus on continuing to improve its competitiveness and  pursue a global expansion strategy. “The potential for growth in the fields served by our materials is there,” Dr Schwarzkopf added. "Our primary focus is on expansion in America and Asia. Merger and acquisition activities will play an important role."