The Germany environmental services and raw materials trading company Alba SE saw both revenues and earnings drop off in 2012 against a backdrop of weaker demand for ferrous and non-ferrous scrap and the reduced economic growth in China. Consolidated revenues at the subsidiary of Alba Group slipped from €2.21bn in 2011 to €1.93bn last year. Earnings before tax declined from €40.4m to €37.7m. The company, which until last year operated as Interseroh SE, booked net earnings of €33.3m, down from €37.2m in 2011.
"Our 2012 earnings are still above the 2010 level," stressed Alba SE CEO Axel Schweitzer at the presentation of the annual results last week in Cologne. The company's performance showed it had "dealt with the difficult market environment in the steel and metals recycling segment better than a number of other companies in the sectoral comparison," he said. He noted that the concern had anticipated that 2012 would be challenging. "This proved only too true," said Mr Schweitzer.
Mr Schweitzer described decreases in production in the countries affected by the European sovereign debt crisis, including Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece, as "dramatic". At the same time, raw materials production rates in Germany fell below those of the prior year and the slower rate of growth in China had made itself felt on the market for scrap metal.