MUNICH, Germany, April 3, 2014 /CNW/ - H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of customer-specific powders and components made from technology metals and advanced ceramics, experienced a challenging fiscal year in 2013. After two years of strong growth, the company posted sales of 703.9 million euros in 2013, below the previous year's figure of 862.9 million euros. As of December 31, 2013, the company had 2,834 employees worldwide (2012: 2,926).
"The main cause of the decline in sales from previous years is the weak development of the overall economy and sluggish growth in our key markets and target industries especially in the tantalum segment," explained Andreas Meier, CEO of H.C. Starck. Another factor placing additional strain on the sales result was the weakness of the U.S. dollar and the Japanese yen alongside temporary weak metal notations.
2014: Improved overall sentiment in all key markets expected
H.C. Starck considers itself to be in a good position for 2014: "We have already proven in the past that we use challenging phases to strengthen our competitive position and gain additional market shares," Meier said. "We are confident that with the continuous realignment of our business to changing customer and market needs we are now more flexible and thus well positioned for the future. With appropriate adjustments of product portfolio, structures and processes, we will sustainably expand our leading market positions." he added. The company expects general market conditions to improve in 2014: "We are seeing improvements in the overall sentiment and an end to the reduction of existing stock levels in our key markets. These are good basic conditions when it comes to picking up where earlier successes left off in 2014 and returning to profitable growth as well, thanks to our joint ventures in Asia."
The complete press release is available at http://www.hcstarck.com.
SOURCE: H.C. Starck GmbH
For further information: Ulrike Reich, Director Corporate Communications, +49-89-500-942-155