German smelter Aurubis raised its earnings forecast as copper prices, demand, and refining costs have advanced significantly.
The company expressed in a statement on Thursday that its earlier forecasts were not consistent, which led to cautious planning. However, the current market indicators point to sustained higher demand as well as price levels for metals and recycled material costs, leading it to revise its earnings guidance upwards.
The global recycler now expects its operating earnings before taxes (EBT) to tally at €270-330mn ($328-401mn) for its current financial year ending September 30, 2021. New levels indicate a potential rise of 22pc above the highpoint of its prior forecast of €210-270mn on October 1, 2020, its fiscal year onset.
The non-ferrous metal provider raised expectations in its metal refining & processing segment to an EBT of €300-380mn compared to the prior forecast of €250-330mn, indicating 15pc more earning potential from the top of the previous forecast.
Aurubis also increased its flat-rolled products segment’s projections, anticipating operating EBT to reach €14-22mn, compared with its earlier forecast of €4-12mn. The copper recycler forecasts an operating return on capital employed of 9-12pc above the previous projection of 8-11pc.
The company earned an EBT of €82mn in Q1 2021 compared to €31mn during the prior-year period, in line with the present market outlook. However, during the previous year’s Q1, the company was affected by a planned maintenance outage at its Hamburg site that led to about €34mn in reduced earnings.
Consolidated EBT from Oct-Dec totals €226mn based on preliminary estimates, compared to €100mn from the prior-year period.
Aurubis operates in Europe, North America, and Asia, producing over 1mn mt of copper cathodes per annum and supplies wire rods, continuous cast shapes, profiles, and flat-rolled products made of copper and copper alloys. The company also produces precious metals, zinc, lead, tin and nickel.