PRESS RELEASE: Innovation and product portfolio enlargement pave the way for Paul Wurth’s future

Luxembourg, 13 May 2014. Under the chairmanship of Mr. Michel Wurth, the ordinary General Meeting of shareholders of Société Anonyme Paul WURTH was held today on 13 May 2014 to approve amongst others the financial statements of the year 2013. Despite a weak market and challenging order acquisition activities, the Group managed to further expand its technological span. With promising innovations, Paul Wurth resolutely continues to develop environmental and energy-saving solutions.
Economic climate and commercial situation
In 2013, steel companies continued to operate in a difficult market environment characterised by overcapacities worldwide, tough price competition and high costs of raw materials. Consequently, the economic climate was also very challenging for plant builders like Paul Wurth. The postponement of planned investment projects by many customers affected the new order intake of the Group for the year 2013 (336.6 million euros). Nevertheless, Paul Wurth managed to further develop its technological span by securing orders in new areas such as sinter plant and coke oven technology.
Operational activity
In terms of project execution, the Group successfully finalised a few major projects during the year under review. At Hyundai Steel in South Korea, the last of three blast furnaces, for which Paul Wurth supplied plant engineering and key components, was successfully blown-in in September 2013. Another two blast furnaces came on line in India: the new blast furnace No. 2 at Bhushan Steel and the modernised ‘G’ blast furnace at Tata Steel. The Group also performed for the first time a complete preventive blast furnace maintenance program for a customer in Brazil.
With the commissioning of two new coke oven batteries, including gas treatment plants at PT Krakatau Posco in Indonesia, Paul Wurth further consolidated its position in cokemaking, a business area that increasingly gains in importance.
Enlarged product portfolio
In order to extend the size of its market, the Group continues to make every effort to expand its existing product range. With cokemaking and sintering technology, Paul Wurth also masters today the processes and equipment for preparing the burden materials upstream of the blast furnace.
In March 2014, Paul Wurth signed with Kobe Steel from Japan a construction license agreement for Midrex® direct reduction plants. Accounting for approximately 60% of the world’s annual direct reduced iron (DRI) production, the Midrex process is market leader in the field of natural gas based direct reduction. Thanks to this license, Paul Wurth is now able to access new markets in regions rich in natural gas resources, like the Middle East or South/Central America.
Environmental and energy-saving solutions
Environmental considerations are now more than ever the focus of the Paul Wurth Group’s R&D activities. The single most important area of activity presently deals with the desire to bring the Group’s dry slag granulation technology to industrial scale. To this effect, a pilot plant located at Dillinger Hütte (Germany) has been commissioned during the last quarter of 2013. The innovative process does without water in the granulation of blast furnace slag and is able to recover energy contained in the liquid slag, at the same time reducing the emissions of CO2 and sulphur. Other research work was performed in relation to the filtration of hot gas at the sinter plant and to the hydrometallurgical processing of steelmaking residues.
Results for the financial year 2013
Turnover for the year was 483.8 million euros (+7.1% in comparison with 2012) and Paul Wurth closed the financial year with earnings before tax of 22.5 million euros. The General Meeting approved the payment of a gross dividend of 210 euros per share on account of the 2013 financial year.

Since large orders from the steel industry are extremely unlikely in 2014, the expectations for this year are somewhat muted. However, urgent and necessary reconditioning work can bring about catch-up effects, resulting in a somewhat brighter short-term economic outlook. These expectations notwithstanding, the Group’s broad, constantly-developing product portfolio, its global position and the skills and the flexibility of its employees are all currently helping to rise above the poor market and secure the future viability of the Paul Wurth Group.

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