The widespread drastic effects of the economic slump were made even more severe for our company by massive inventory reductions of our customers. As a result, production and sales volumes, as well as revenue and earnings, fell sharply relative to the same period last year. Revenue totalled EUR 1,054.2 million (first half 2008: EUR 2,278.8 million). Operating profit before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to EUR -115.2 million (first half 2008: EUR 231.9 million), while EBIT closed at EUR -166.5 million (first half 2008: EUR 184.8 million). Net income was EUR -149.0 million (first half 2008: EUR 108.6 million). Measures to safeguard the financing have been initiated. Various projects to align the capacities to a lower level of demand are being implemented. The market is showing first signs of recovery.
After a positive development in the first half of 2008, in the second half-year order bookings and shipped volumes fell sharply. Simultaneously falling raw material and alloy costs put sales revenues under pressure. As from the fourth quarter of 2008, capacity reduction measures were unavoidable. Revenue was EUR 4'091.9 million (2007: EUR 4,247.3 million). Operating profit before depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to EUR 233.9 million (2007: EUR 416.8 million), and EBIT to EUR 138.4 million (2007: EUR 326.0 million). Included in this amount are value adjustments on inventories of EUR 134.5 that were made in the second half-year to take account of lower prices for scrap and alloying elements. Consequently, net income was only EUR 62.8 million (2007: EUR 188.5 million). The consolidated financial statements as at December 31, 2008, will be published for the first time based on the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Given the low visibility in the markets, it is currently difficult to make any statement about the further progress of business in 2009.