Umicore announces record results for 2020 and prepares for CEO succession
Record earnings in unprecedented conditions
Despite the severe disruption brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in its end-markets, Umicore posted its strongest financial performance ever, boosted by an exceptional PGM price environment. This underscores Umicore’s resilience and the merits of its strategy building on the complementarity of its activities. After a solid performance in the first half of 2020, with a strong result in Recycling offsetting the impact of the automotive industry downturn on the results of Catalysis and Energy & Surface Technologies, the second half of the year was marked by a strong sequential improvement in the Group’s revenues and earnings driven by continued robust operational performance and buoyant metal prices in Recycling, as well as strong growth in Catalysis. Full year adjusted EBIT was € 536 million, up 5% compared to the previous year. Adjusted EBITDA increased by 7% to € 804 million.
Revenues in Catalysis decreased, albeit less than the global car market, due to Umicore’s strong market position in gasoline technologies for light-duty vehicles, particularly in China and Europe, as well as higher sales of heavy-duty diesel and fuel cells catalysts. Adjusted EBIT declined more than revenues for the full year reflecting the significant impact of the pandemic in the first half of the year.
Revenues of Energy & Surface Technologies reflected the impact of the pandemic as well as lower sales of cathode materials for high-end portable electronics and energy storage applications. The decline in adjusted EBIT was more pronounced reflecting significant negative operating leverage and the impact of an unfavorable pricing environment for cathode materials due to substantial industry overcapacity in China.
Recycling doubled its adjusted EBIT compared to the previous year, driven by strong growth across business units, reflecting high metal prices, high activity levels despite the COVID-19 crisis and favorable trading conditions.
- Revenues of € 3.2 billion (-4%)
- Adjusted EBITDA of € 804 million (+7%)
- Adjusted EBIT of € 536 million (+5%)
- EBIT adjustments of - € 237 million, primarily comprising restructuring charges, environmental provisions and impairments
- ROCE of 12.1% (compared to 12.6% in 2019)
- Adjusted net profit (Group share) of € 322 million (+3%) and adjusted EPS of € 1.34 (+3%)
- Cashflow from operations of € 603 million (vs € 549 million in 2019), despite a € 104 million increase in working capital requirements from higher PGM prices; free cashflow from operations of € 167 million (vs - € 39 million in 2019)
- Capital expenditure plans were adjusted at the beginning of the pandemic and capex spend amounted to € 403 million (vs € 553 million in 2019)
- Net debt at € 1,414 million, down from € 1,443 million at the end of 2019. This corresponds to a Net debt/ LTM adj. EBITDA ratio of 1.76.
- Proposed gross annual dividend of € 0.75, of which € 0.25 was already paid out in August 2020.