“The slowdown in the global economy was more pronounced in the third quarter with a number of end markets affected by lower demand,” Umicore said in a press release.

 The main effects of the slowdown were in Performance Materials and in Energy Materials. Revenues in the former were down by 9% year on year. In Catalysis, revenues increased slightly, although the business started to feel the effects of lower demand in the European automotive sector. The Recycling business continued to benefit from a positive supply environment.

Umicore plans to invest in future growth opportunities in Jewellery & Industrial Metals, Cobalt & Specialty Materials and Rechargeable Battery Materials.

"Umicore continues to perform well and showed a good degree of overall resilience in a more testing economic environment,” Marc Grynberg, Umicore CEO said. “There is a need, however, to adjust the production footprint and cost base in those activities that are most affected by the economic downturn and we will do so with the necessary speed. Our long term strategy is unaffected by the current economic climate and we continue to invest in growth projects across our businesses."