Mar. 2, 2020 - Vesuvius plc, a global leader in molten metal flow engineering and technology, announces its preliminary audited results for the year ended 31 December 2019 on Feb. 27, 2020.
Group revenue was £1,710.4m, a decrease of 4.9% versus 2018 on a reported basis. Underlying Group revenue, adjusted for the effects of currency translation, acquisitions and disposals, decreased by 5.7%. Trading profit (EBITA) was £181.4m (2018: £197.2m), down 8.0% on a reported basis and down 9.0% on an underlying basis. Our return on sales was resilient at 10.6% in 2019 as compared with 11.0% in 2018, despite lower sales.
Patrick André, Chief Executive of Vesuvius, commented:
“We delivered a robust operational performance in 2019, despite challenging conditions. Key end markets were especially weak during the fourth quarter of 2019 and we expect this abnormally low level of activity to continue at least in Q1 2020 and to weigh on performance in H1 2020. The potential impact of the Covid-19 health crisis is difficult to assess at this time but is likely to have a temporary negative impact on our end-markets. However, there are some signals indicating that the destocking phase experienced in H2 2019 is maturing and may shortly be coming to an end. Thanks to our restructuring efforts, our reinforced emphasis on innovation in the service of our customers and our dedicated workforce, Vesuvius is ideally positioned to benefit from the normalisation in our end markets as this occurs.”
Crude steel production declined 1.7% year-on-year in the world excluding China (as reported by the World Steel Association). The decline in production worsened during the year, with steel volumes increasing slightly in H1 2019 by 0.6% year-on-year in the world excluding China before declining by 3.8% in H2 2019.
In addition, we experienced a challenging environment in Foundry end markets in 2019, which also worsened through the year. Our Foundry Division was impacted by weakness in light vehicle production in all regions and a decline in the construction and agricultural equipment markets in NAFTA, India, South America and North Asia. There was also a reduction in activity in general engineering and mining in EMEA, India and North Asia and a decline in medium/heavy commercial vehicle production in most regions.
This deterioration of our markets was amplified by a general destocking throughout the supply chain, affecting both our products and our customers’ products and by the external regulatory environment which disrupted trade flows.