Steel maker Voestalpine says Europe car demand offsets cooler China

6 August 2015

Austrian speciality steel maker Voestalpine said bumper demand for cars in Europe is helping to offset cooling of demand in China among its automotive customers.

Voestalpine, which provides steel and parts used in the automotive, rail, aerospace and oil and gas industries, on Wednesday said there were signs of cautiousness among buyers in China in the automotive industry.

But it added in its first-quarter report: "There were no signs of a more broad-based reversal, particularly as registrations of compact and mid-size cars on the European markets have increased substantially in recent months."

The automotive industry is the core customer for Voestalpine's main division, Steel.

Major European carmakers have been hit by slowing demand in China for their premium cars, with BMW on Tuesday saying it could hit its 2015 outlook and VW's Audi already scaling back its global sales target.

Voestalpine maintained its goal to improve underlying earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) and EBITDA for the year, thanks to growth in Europe and the United States. Adjusted for special items, first-quarter EBIT rose 8.5 percent to 237 million euros, in line with forecasts.