To strengthen its equity base, SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH AG has obtained hybrid capital of EUR 80 million from external sources. The transaction was structured by a large German bank with international operations.
The uncertainty of the markets caused by the global financial crisis is now also affecting the business progress of our company. Although some of our customer groups are still experiencing good capacity utilisation, in various customer segments that are important for our sales, demand has weakened massively in the last few weeks. The most strongly affected of these segments are the automobile and components supply areas.
The first half of 2008 was characterised by a good market situation, high production volumes, and increased raw material costs. It brought a substantial improvement relative to the second half of 2007. The weaker earnings by comparison with the first half of the previous year are mainly attributable to the one-time effects of the alloy prices in that period. Despite certain signs of weakening, the outlook is still seen to be positive. The consolidated financial statements as at December 31, 2008, will be published on the basis of the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for the first time.
Günter Fuhry will relinquish his position as President of the Executive Management of SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH International GmbH at his own wish, for private reasons, and leave our company on March 31, 2008.
The adopted strategy of alignment to the production, processing and distribution of high-grade steel products is successful. In 2007, despite the drastic price fluctuations in some raw material prices, SCHMOLZ+BICKENBACH AG achieved record net income.