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Voestalpine to Put Effort into Growth

Published: July 4, 2012; 19:45 · (Vindobona)

The Austrian steel producer intends to grow through acquisitions again in the medium term. Exports to Brazil and Asian countries should be promoted.

Voestalpine to Put Effort into Growth / Picture: © Flickr

In the medium term, voestalpine may grow through acquisitions again. After the takeover of Böhler-Uddeholm in 2007, the gearing ratio went up remarkably. In the next years, the ration should continue to decrease, CEO Wolfgang Eder explains. At the moment, the ratio is slightly above 50%. Eder aims to reach a ratio of 40% in the near future. „Then we would have enough reserves again.“

Eder doest not want to invest in enlarging the capacities of the steel segment. „It is about the improvement of the technology and quality of the existing business.“ Eder explains. Acquisitions are conceivable in niche markets. The classic steel business becomes less important. Eder expects a massive increase in competition. After the WTO-accession of Russia, the European steel production is anticipated to shrink by 25%.

Regarding voestalpine´s export markets, Eder expects a rise in exports to Brazil, China and the rest of South-East Asia. Also the US is viewed as growth market. In the next years, the share of exports to non-European markets should increase from 30% to 40%.

At the annual general meeting of voestalpine, the management board proposed a dividend of 80 cents per share. Unless the economic situation does not deteriorate in the next two years, a dividend increase is conceivable, Eder says.