Umicore specialises in the recycling of materials. With sites in Hoboken, Bruges and Brussels, to name but a few, the Belgian company posted positive half-year figures. The automotive industry, in particular, is responsible for giving the results a strong “green” boost.
The total revenue of the Belgian materials group Umicore increased by 1% during the first half of 2016 to 1.4 billion euros.
Revenue from automotive catalysts up 9%
The focus on automotive has contributed greatly to the overall result. Strong growth in Automotive Catalysts and Rechargeable Battery Materials more than offset the impact of lower metal prices on the various recycling activities.
Umicore recorded a 9% revenue growth in Automotive Catalysts. The operating result in this division even increased by 27%.
Growth in the Rechargeable Battery Materials division was primarily attributable to the increased demand for NMC cathodic materials. How so? Most Li-manganese batteries are blended with lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC) to improve the specific energy and prolong their life span.
86 million euros in clean mobility
Investments show the direction in which Umicore is developing. Growth investments in clean mobility and recycling have been maintained and capital expenditures amounted to 86 million euros in the first half of 2016. Umicore is stepping up its expansion investments for cathode materials for automotive applications and will triple its capacity by 2018.
In Recycling, the ramp-up of the 40% capacity expansion in the Hoboken plant has started.
Innovator in electric vehicle races
Umicore itself is an active innovator in the future of automotive. The company supports engineering student teams involved in building electric vehicles to compete in international competitions such as Formula Student, Shell Eco-marathon and the Dutch Solar Challenge.
The Powered by Umicore programme is about innovation by engineering students who have the potential to realise future technology breakthroughs. The students are inspired by clean technologies and have the chance to show their potential as part of a team.
Read more on Umicore’s half year results 2016.