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H.C. Starck Continues on Profitable Growth Track

H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of refractory metals and technical ceramics, achieved sustainable profitable growth in 2011. Worldwide sales grew by 28 % to EUR 883,2 million.

Also operating profit grew significantly compared to 2010. The company wants to further develop its fast-growing recycling activities. H.C. Starck is global technology leader when it comes to recycling refractory metals. With a current rate of around 50 %, recycling is a vital pillar in its materials sourcing. Furthermore, alongside expanding European capacity in 2012, the company intends to strengthen its regional commitments, particularly in Asia, and will invest in the development of high-quality tungsten products in China. In 2011, the company signed agreements for two joint ventures in the production of tungsten chemicals, metal, and carbide respectively with Jiangxi Rare Metals Tungsten Holding Group Co. Ltd. (JXTC), one of the largest tungsten mining companies in China. Following the planned ground breaking ceremony for the production plant in early 2012, production of several thousands tons of high-quality tungsten products for the Chinese market should begin in a matter of months. In October 2011, the ground breaking ceremony took place at the production plant site for CS Energy Materials Ltd (CSEM), a joint venture with Japan New Chisso Corp./JP, for the development and manufacture of cathode materials for high-performance lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars. Production is due to begin mid-2012 in Minamata/JP. The fantastic developments in the 2011 financial year were supported by high demand in the tantalum and niobium division, particularly from the electronics industry. The company achieved excellent results in Asia, in particular, despite the natural disasters in Japan (earthquake) and Thailand (flooding). The tungsten division notably experienced an improvement in the field of carbide tools. Increased demand from the automotive industry and the renewable energy segment led to good results for ceramic powders. Alongside the sputtering target business for special coatings, Starck noted growing demand in the fabricated products business segment, primarily from the chemical processing and industrial furnace sectors. In the technical ceramics business segment, Starck was able to improve its results, especially through an increase in complex engineering parts and productivity improvements in business processes. Now more than ever, an expertise in recycling honed over many years and the often unique processing methods for environmentally sound reconditioning make H.C. Starck the strategic partner of growth-oriented industries, who feel a responsibility toward the principles of sustainability.

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