Based on this performance, the company expects to generate record earnings in 2011, with a recurring EBIT between €400 million and €425 million.

Revenues in the performance materials division, which includes zinc powder, were €226.8 excluding metal, up by 11 %. Revenues started to recover in building products, as anticipated, and continued to grow in technical materials, electroplating and zinc chemicals. Fine zinc powders sales volumes were driven by increased customer activity, and the demand for paint pigments was strong in China. Umicore’s hard materials business recorded higher sales of tungsten carbide products for both mining and wear parts applications.