MUNICH, April 2, 2015 /CNW/ - H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of customer-specific powders and components made from technology metals and technical ceramics, performed well in 2014 given the very difficult market environment. The company increased its sales volume to 785.9 million euros in 2014 (2013: 703.9 million). As of December 31, 2014, the company reported 2,678 employees worldwide (2012: 2,843).
"The increase in sales was also supported by our strategic growth projects in Asia: the tungsten joint ventures in China and Vietnam. That helped us grow significantly our tungsten powder business, and gain large market shares especially in Asia," explained Andreas Meier, CEO of H.C. Starck. "Overall, though, 2014 was shaped by the difficult economic situation in our global core markets, which hurt the profitability of the business." In particular, there were structural changes in the tungsten and tantalum market with correspondingly negative price effects and increased competition which in turn led to a decline in raw-material prices. Sales results were also impacted by the weak Japanese yen and by a notable drop in metal listings.
Gradual recovery expected for the core markets
In 2015, H.C. Starck only expects a gradual recovery for its core markets: "Our cautious business forecast is mainly based on the persistent weak growth of our target industries in Europe and Asia," explains Andreas Meier. "Oil and raw-material prices as well as currencies will continue to be very volatile; growth in the emerging countries will be slower, and geopolitical conflicts will slow the global economy." Despite these uncertain framework conditions, H.C. Starck sees good opportunities ahead for 2015, thanks in part to low oil prices, which will stimulate the processing industry.
Read the full release at http://www.hcstarck.com/en/hc_starck_group/press/press_releases.html
SOURCE H.C. Starck GmbH
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