Michael Schwarzkopf, chairman of the Plansee Group
Michael Schwarzkopf, chairman of the Plansee Group

Austrian hardmetals specialists Plansee drove consolidated sales up 2 per cent to €1.1 billion in the fiscal year 2008 – 2009 which ended on February 28. In a tough market roughly half the sales came from Europe with America and Asia contributing the other 50 per cent. The group continued to strengthen its global position and completed an investment programme worth a total of €400 million.

Plansee Group acquired US powder specialist Global Tungsten & Powders (GTP) last August, securing supplies of tungsten powders and strengthening its presence in the US refractory metals market.

“Stable sales in the first half of the year and the acquisition of GTP ensured Plansee continued on the path to long-term growth in 2008,” said Chairman Michael Schwarzkopf. Products launched within the last five years accounted for almost 30 per cent of sales, he added.

The group’s €400 million investment programme has seen the building of a new hot-rolling mill, a hardmetals recycling plant and the introduction of new production technologies. Last year was the final €130 million stage that saw further focused development of production lines in Spain, China, the US and Austria, and expansion of manufacturing capacity for key products.