Global sales grew by 28% to €883.2 million from €689.3 million in 2010, and operating profit grew significantly compared to the year before.
 
“2011 was an outstanding year for H.C. Starck. We have more than exceeded our strategic and operational goals in all business segments and have continued on the positive, profitable growth track from the previous year,” said Andreas Meier, Chairman of the H.C. Starck Executive Board.

For the 2012 financial year, the company expects good results, with some caveats. “We’ve had a good start into 2012; however, the international economic conditions are significantly more demanding than they were last year,” said Meier. “Our goal is to prove the sustainability of our business success in 2012.

 “We want to further develop our fast-growing, unique recycling activities. We are the global technology leader when it comes to recycling refractory metals. With a current rate of around 50%, recycling is a vital pillar in our materials sourcing,” he said.

Alongside expanding European capacity in 2012, H.C. Starck intends to strengthen its regional commitments, particularly in Asia, and will invest in the development of high-quality tungsten products in China. In 2011, the company signed agreements for two joint ventures in the production of tungsten chemicals, tungsten metal, and tungsten carbide with Jiangxi Rare Metals Tungsten Holding Group Co. Ltd. (JXTC), one of the largest tungsten mining companies in China. The plant should begin production of several thousands tons of tungsten products for the Chinese market in 2012. In 2011, the company also built a production plant site for CS Energy Materials Ltd (CSEM), a joint venture with Japanese chemical firm Japan New Chisso Corp, for the development and manufacture of cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars.

2011 also saw a high demand in the company’s tantalum and niobium division, particularly from the electronics industry. The company achieved excellent results in Asia, in particular, despite natural disasters in Japan (earthquake) and Thailand (flooding). The tungsten division experienced an improvement in the field of carbide tools. Increased demand from the automotive industry and the renewable energy segment led to good results for ceramic powders. Alongside the sputtering target business for special coatings, H.C. Starck noted growing demand in the fabricated products business segment, primarily from the chemical processing and industrial furnace sectors.
 
The company has also resolved one of its most important core strategic issues by securing the long-term supply of conflict-free raw materials. H.C. Starck has received the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) certification as a “conflict-free smelter” for the tantalum supply chain.