The Belgian metals group Umicore faced a 10 per cent revenue decline in its recycling division during the first half due to falling metal prices, according to the company's semi-annual accounts published on Thursday. The drop brought the figure to €307.4m and combined with higher project costs resulted in a decline in division earnings before interest and tax (Ebit) from €114.3m in the first half of 2012 to €94.4m in the six months ended 30 June 2013.
Revenues from precious metals refining weakened as a result of sinking metal prices. However, at the same time, revenues from refining charges rose due to higher volumes, according to the interim report. The concern also reported an increase in the intake of residues from the non-ferrous metal industry.
In contrast, the availability of electrical and electronic waste this year has been poorer than last. The competition, particularly for low grade equipment, had increased with the recent expansion of processing capacity, explained the concern. Umicore noted that it continued to have a competitive advantage in the market for higher grade equipment and had been able to improve average recycling charges.