Recurring EBIT in the period was down 15% year on year due to a less favourable product and regional mix and the impact of lower metal prices on recycling margins. Revenues were € 1.2 billion, down 0.6% from the first half of 2012, but up by 4% compared to the second half of last year, pointing to a stabilisation in many product end-markets.

“While taking steps to improve margins, Umicore remains committed to invest in its longer term growth programmes,” Umicore said. Capital expenditures were € 120 million, with increases in energy materials and recycling. research & development expenditure was stable at € 91 million.

"Although the economy remains fragile it has been encouraging to see a stabilization in many of Umicore’s end markets,” said Marc Grynberg, CEO. “We are pursuing our longer term growth initiatives while adapting our operational footprint where market realities make this necessary. It is clear that the trends of resource scarcity, the need for clean air, the move towards electrified transport and renewable energy continue to be in our favour and Umicore’s technological developments and market positions are promising."

Full year recurring EBIT is expected to remain within the previously provided range of € 300 to € 330 million.