Recurring EBIT was down 10% due mainly to the impact of lower metal prices and currency headwinds. However, growth investments are on track and capital expenditures totalled € 202 million.

Umicore is reviewing its portfolio of activities and assessing options to optimize growth and value creation potential. In light thereof, a process has been initiated to prepare the Zinc Chemicals and Building Products business units for a future outside the Umicore Group,’ the company said.

While Element Six Abrasives revenues were well up, driven by strong sales in oil and gas-drilling and precision machining, revenues from carbide-based products were down, due to highly challenging markets. While sales momentum for wear parts and road products improved in the second half of the year, demand for mining products was subdued throughout the year reflecting weak activity in that market. 

'We continue to invest strongly in our major growth initiatives linked to themes such as recycling and clean mobility,' said  Marc Grynberg, Umicore CEO. 'We are starting to see a number of these investments bear fruit and this should become more visible for Umicore in 2015 and beyond.'