H.C. Starck Posts Sales Increase with New Structure
- Adjusted annual sales for the Group rise 23 percent, to 581.7 million euros
- Future-oriented investments for ongoing growth in attractive business segments
- Company structure changed through creation of Chemitas and ChemiLytics independent service units
- Continuation of initiatives and programs launched to boost sales and profitability
- Strategic further development of the CER Division through sale to the Japan-based Kyocera Group and sale of Chemitas to a holding company headed by Wilhelm Plumpe in current fiscal year
Munich, July 3, 2019. H.C. Starck, one of the leading manufacturers of customer-specific powders and components made from technology metals and advanced ceramics, has posted a significant increase in sales for 2018. Total sales for the past fiscal year, 2018, stood at 691.7 million euros. The sales figure, which was adjusted to account for the sale during the year of the Tantalum & Niobium and Surface Technology and Ceramic Powders (STC) Divisions, rose by 23 percent, to 581.7 million euros. The most important external success factor was the positive economic environment in the end industries. Enhanced sales efforts, advances in technology and productive cost initiatives also made key contributions to this success. As of December 31, 2018, the H.C. Starck Group had about 1,600 employees worldwide.
For the fiscal year currently in progress, H.C. Starck expects the positive trends within the individual divisions of the H.C. Starck Group to continue. This forecast is based on the investments that have been made to increase capacity and tap into new business segments.
In the course of the H.C. Starck Group’s strategic evolution in 2018, the STC Division was sold to the Sweden-based Höganäs Group, the Tantalum & Niobium Division was sold to the JX Group, which is based in Japan, and the stake in the joint venture Nui Phao was sold to the Masan Group, which is based in Vietnam. For more information, please also see the press reports published at https://www.hoganas.com, http://www.nmm.jx-group.co.jp/english/ and https://www.masangroup.com/masanresources/investor-center/news.
To achieve optimum, forward-looking alignment at the H.C. Starck Group, two completely independent, competitive units – Chemitas and ChemiLytics – were created in 2018. These units now increasingly work for external customers as well.
Tungsten Powders Division: increased sales and process optimization
H.C. Starck’s tungsten division posted an increase in sales and the result again in 2018. This positive development was driven by two main factors. First was the consistent implementation of the division’s strategy, which was reflected in the market success of the nanocrystalline tungsten carbide varieties and in the ongoing ramp-up of capacity at the Chinese plant. Second, numerous projects helped increase efficiency, thereby making a further contribution to the positive result for this division. For example, the utilization of worldwide plant capacities was further optimized and the improvement and development of various production processes were advanced.
Advanced Ceramic Components posts record sales thanks to further investment
The Advanced Ceramic Components Division expanded its production space by 2,000 m² back in 2017, adding a new plant hall in Selb. The measures taken had an impact the very next year, as the company posted record sales once again in 2018. Based on these developments, capacity for production of high-precision components for the semiconductor industry will be expanded in 2019 by adding another production hall with 1,000 m² of space. The division aims to achieve continuous growth by expanding capacity in the existing industries and extending its activities in markets that offer a wealth of opportunities for the future, such as the aviation and aerospace sector. With an eye to further strategic development, a strategic owner was found for the division in 2019: the Kyocera Group, which will further strengthen the division’s activities and the plant at the Selb site. The sale of the division was concluded on April 12, 2019.
Chemitas: establishment of an independent professional site operator in the Harz region
For Chemitas GmbH, the key aspect in 2018 was the successful introduction of new structures, which shaped the company into a completely independent unit. This has established Chemitas with its customers as a reliable and capable partner in the areas of infrastructure, logistics and site management. As part of the strategic further development of the H.C. Starck Group, Chemitas was sold on April 17, 2019, to a holding group headed by Wilhelm Plumpe, which will continue the activities of the specialty service provider located in Goslar.
ChemiLytics: realignment as an independent contract lab
To further develop Analytical Services as an accredited lab with world-leading expertise in analysis of metal powders, an independent company, ChemiLytics GmbH & Co KG, was founded in 2018. In addition to making the company independent and improving its structures, a professional laboratory information and management system (LIMS) was introduced to ensure optimum service for customers. These measures also unlocked further gains in sales to external customers. Other key investments for ChemiLytics include a new, advanced X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, an automatic dosage system for flux, and a fully automated gas adsorption device to determine specific surface area.
Fabricated Products reaches sales volume targets as raw material prices rise
The Fabricated Products Division is continuing its consistent implementation of the programs and initiatives launched in 2017. The move allowed the division to reach all of its sales volume targets even as prices of raw materials rose. At the same time, the division made gains in profitability. One key task for 2019 is to implement a series of investments for the targeted development of growth fields. Examples include the measures taken to increase capacity in spiral roller bearing production for medical technology in Hermsdorf and the expansion of powder production at the site in Coldwater, Michigan.
In addition, the division is continuing to invest in additive manufacturing (3D printing) as a key technology at the sites in Coldwater and Hermsdorf, including for the use of refractory metal powders. The first specific possible applications for the screen printing and powder bed methods installed at the division are emerging in medicine and in aviation and aerospace.
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About H.C. Starck www.hcstarck.com
The H.C. Starck Group is an international leading supplier of refractory technology metals, supplying growth industrial sectors such as the electronics sector, the chemical industry, the automotive sector, medical technology, aviation and aerospace, energy and environmental technology, and machine and tool building from its own production locations in Europe, America and Asia. In late 2018 the company employed approximately 1,600 people in Germany, the USA, Canada, the UK and China.