In the fiscal year 2010/11, sales of the Wieland Group rose by 24 % to EUR 3,287 million (prior year: EUR 2,653 million). With sales quantities of 475,000 tonnes (prior year: 477,000 tonnes) an annual result of EUR 45 million was achieved (prior year: deficit of EUR 6 million). A major part of the sales increase is due to high metal quotations. The positive result with almost unchanged sales quantities is based on the fact that Wieland was able to expand the share of value-added products in the product mix. In addition, higher prices could be achieved in the market.
Two contrasting developments in demand
While demand during the first six months of the fiscal year 2010/11 showed a positive trend, incoming orders declined significantly during the second half of the year and remained at a low level until the end of the fiscal year. As a result of the euro debt crisis, demand in Europe dropped significantly. In particular, the initially high demand from Asia showed a downward trend from the spring of 2011. Growth in the North American markets remained very low. Almost all customer sectors, in particular electronics and electrical engineering as well as vehicle construction and trading, were affected by the drop in demand. Only mechanical engineering demand proved to be satisfactory for the whole year.
Copper price reaches record level
The average annual copper price was up 26 % on the prior year. In February 2011 it reached a historic high of over EUR 7,500 per tonne.
Number of employees unchanged
In the fiscal year 2010/11, an average of 6,375 employees (prior year: 6,410) were working for the consolidated companies of the Wieland Group of which an average of 4,285 (prior year: 4,246) were employed at the German locations: in Ulm 1,203 (prior year 1,205), in Vöhringen 2,507 (prior year: 2,469), in Villingen-Schwenningen 276 (prior year: 273) and in Langenberg 299 (prior year: 299).
Investments in tangible assets during the fiscal year 2010/11 totalled EUR 51 million (prior year: EUR 73 million). Three major plants were commissioned: a billet caster and a heat treatment facility for hot-dip tinning at the Vöhringen works as well as a new rolling mill at the Villingen-Schwenningen works.
On 2 March 2012, a dividend of 20 % on the subscribed capital (prior year: 10 %) was declared at the Annual General Meeting of Wieland-Werke AG. The interest on the employees’ profit-sharing rights was 10 % (prior year: 5 %).
Current fiscal year – weak demand
At the beginning of the fiscal year, the weak demand of the previous months continued. Since January there has been a slight recovery. Due to the euro debt crisis, incoming orders from customers of the important markets continue to be on a low level: in Europe and Asia demand is declining. The Asian electronics industry is affected by plant closures as a result of the tsunami in Japan and the flood disaster in Thailand. There is no noticeable growth stimulus from North America either. How the global economy will develop within the next few months is uncertain. A reliable forecast of the result for the fiscal year 2011/12 is, therefore, currently not possible.
Focus on value-added products
In order to ensure a positive development of the result, the Wieland Group continues to focus on selling value-added products, including special copper alloys for special requirements, ready-to-install components and products with surface coating.
Growth markets South America and Asia
Moreover, the Wieland Group is opening up new sales opportunities in growth markets. In October 2011, a Sales Office was opened in Brazil. In 2012 two new slitting centres will be commissioned in South China and in India.
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