Market conditions for copper scrap remain challenging. At the release of its interim report for the first half of the financial year (1 October-31 March), copper producer and recycler Aurubis admitted there had not yet been "any signals for sustainable improvement". Despite a reduced supply of scrap copper, the company said it had still been able to maintain its throughput over the first six months, in part by relying on the input of blister copper.
Aurubis posted a sharp decline in revenue over the first half of the fiscal year, primarily due to falling metals prices. The copper company's sales dropped 14 per cent year-over-year to €4.73bn, while earnings before taxes (EBT) plunged 77 per cent to €40m. EBT adjusted for copper price fluctuations and other factors (operating EBT) – which the Aurubis group views as a more relevant figure for assessing business performance and the company's direction – reached €122m, significantly below the €181m recorded for the same period a year ago. Besides the weak supply of copper scrap, the results were also negatively impacted by low precious metal inventories as well as an oversupply of sulphuric acid on the global market and its corresponding pressure on prices. Even significantly increased treatment and refining charges for copper concentrate and continuing healthy sales of wire rod and shapes products could not compensate for the downturn, Aurubis reported.
A detailed examination of the first half-year interim financial report of Aurubis as well as the group's outlook for the remaining year will appear on 25 May in EUWID 11/2016.