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SGL Carbon reports best operating result in more than ten years - transformation successfully completed


SGL Carbon demonstrated the resilience of its business model in a challenging market environment and was again able to improve sales and earnings in fiscal year 2022 following 2021. All four business units contributed to this success.

Sales in fiscal 2022 increased by 12.8% year-on-year to 1,135.9 million (previous year: 1,007.0 million). The rise in sales was mainly due to both volume effects and the successful implementation of pricing initiatives to compensate higher raw material, energy and transport prices. At 23.4%, adjusted EBITDA (EBITDApre) improved at a higher rate than sales and amounted to 172.8 million in fiscal 2022 (previous year: 140.0 million). Increased sales and the associated higher capacity utilization also contributed to the improvement in earnings, as well as focusing on market segments with higher margin potential.

We also delivered in 2022. The sales and earnings figures for 2022 confirm the successful transformation of our SGL Carbon. In the last two years, we increased our sales by 23.5% and even improved our EBITDApre by 86.2%. EBITDApre margin in 2022 is 15.2%. As a result, we have almost achieved our medium-term targets for 2025 set in 2020 by the end of 2022. A great success for the entire SGL workforce, says CEO Dr. Torsten Derr.

Earnings development of SGL CarbonThe increase in EBITDApre by 32.8 million to 172.8 million was mainly driven by the Graphite Solutions business unit (+ 30.6 million). The Composite Solutions (+ 7.9 million) and Process Technology (+ 5.2 million) business units also contributed to the improvement in profitability. Although the Carbon Fibers business unit was able to offset the loss of a lucrative supply contract with an automotive customer in terms of sales with new orders from the wind energy sector, but these sales showed a significantly lower margin level. Accordingly, EBITDApre of this business unit decreased by 11.2 million to 43.2 million (previous year: 54.5 million).

Taking into account net one-off effects and non-recurring items of 8.9 million (previous year: 30.7 million) and depreciation and amortization of 60.8 million (previous year: 60.3 million), reported EBIT amounted to 120.9 million (2021: 110.4 million). This corresponds to an increase of 9.5%.

As a result of the pleasing business performance, the successes of the transformation and non-operating one-off effects and non-recurring items ( 8.9 million), a positive Group's net profit of 126.9 million (previous year: 75.4 million) was achieved in 2022. It should be noted that consolidated net income includes tax income of 31.3 million (previous year: minus 6.2 million). This development is mainly due to valuation adjustments on deferred tax assets amounting to 41.8 million, based on the good business development combined with positive earnings prospects in the USA. Current tax expenses amounted to 11.4 million in 2022 (previous year: 11.9 million).

Net financial debt and equityIn fiscal 2022, net financial debt was reduced significantly by 17.2% to 170.8 million compared with the end of 2021 ( 206.3 million). The main reason for the decrease is the repayment of financial liabilities in the amount of 29.0 million. Free cash flow decreased from 111.5 million to 67.8 million in 2022. In this context, it should be taken into account that in the previous year, free cash flow included cash inflows of 30.6 million from the sale of land not required for operations.

After 2021, the equity ratio increased again to 38.5% at the end of 2022 (previous year: 27.0% I 2020: 17.5%). Due to the significantly improved earnings situation, the return on capital employed (ROCE) also rose from 8.0% in the previous year to 11.3% in 2022.

In fiscal year 2022, we further improved SGL Carbons financial structure. As a result of the reduction in net debt, the leverage ratio at the end of 2022 was 1.0, compared to 1.5 as of December 31, 2021. We are particularly proud of the early refinancing of our convertible bond in September 2022. The fast placement of the new convertible bond in a volatile market environment has shown that investors trust us again. This is also evidenced by the upgrade of Moodys Corporate Family Rating from B3 to B2 at the beginning of this year, explains Thomas Dippold, CFO of SGL Carbon.

Development of the business unitsAs the largest business unit with a share of Group sales of around 45%, Graphite Solutions contributed 512.2 million to Group sales in 2022 (previous year: 443.6 million). The 15.5% increase in sales is based in particular on the positive development of the important market segments Semiconductor & LED and Industrial Applications. Compared to the previous year, sales to customers in the semiconductor & LED industry increased by 49.6%, driven in particular by increasing demand of materials and components for the production of silicon carbide-based high-performance semiconductors. Combined with the increase in sales, GS EBITDApre improved by 34.8% to 118.5 million (previous year: 87.9 million). Accordingly, the EBITDApre margin increased from 19.8% to 23.1%. Volume effects due to higher sales as well as margin effects from the product and customer mix had a positive impact. Especially the higher sales with customers from the semiconductor industry should be taken into account.

In fiscal 2022, the Process Technology(PT)business unit benefited from the good order situation in recent months and increased its sales by 21.9% to 106.3 million. The main clients of the PT business unit are customers from the chemical industry. The positive development of PT is also reflected in EBITDApre which rose from 4.7 million in the same period of the previous year to 9.9 million. Higher capacity utilization and the successful passing on of increased raw material costs led to an improvement in the EBITDApre margin from 5.4% to 9.
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