Revenues at Umicore increased 5% to €2.4 billion, primarily due to increased sales volumes in the Catalysis and Recycling business groups. Recurring EBITDA was down 5% to €524 million.

Revenues of Performance Materials were in line with those of 2011. Lower revenues in Building Products, Technical Materials and Platinum Engineered Materials were offset by strong growth in Electroplating. Recurring EBIT was down 18%, mainly due to the lower sales volumes in the aforementioned business units and a lower contribution from zinc recycling activities. Revenues of Element Six Abrasives were lower, reflecting the weaker end markets in the Advanced Materials and the Oil & Gas businesses. 

“In 2012 we posted another solid performance against a backdrop of increasingly challenging conditions,” said Marc Grynberg, CEO of Umicore. “This was our second best performance ever despite a weak economic environment. While we are not immune from a downturn, our performance shows a good degree of resilience."

Balancing the drive for future growth with the current economic conditions will continue to be a challenge for Umicore, Grynberg added. To that end, he said the company will work in a "pragmatic and targeted way in 2013 to bring fixed costs and working capital down in order to ensure all businesses to achieve sustainable levels of profitability.”