Profits at European Metal Recycling (EMR) fell last year despite a turnover boost in an “unsettled” global market.
Sales at the international recycler rose to just under £3.4bn for the 12 months to the end of December 2011, up from just under £2.8bn the previous year.
However profit before tax dipped from just over £155 million to just under £116m over the period, according to accounts filed at Companies House.
The Warrington-based company said that it had been a “reasonable” year for ferrous metal recycling but that the ferrous scrap availability was “depressed” in Europe and the US, despite a global increase in steel production. Demand for non-ferrous material was likely to remain buoyant, according to EMR.
The report said: “2011 world steel production of 1,527 megatonnes for the year (source: World Steel Association) represented a recorded for global crude steel production. Such steel production reflected an increase of 6.8% year on year – although growth of only 2.8% in Europe compared unfavourably to growth of 7.9% in Asia.”
In March the company extended its banking facility and the report said that the directors “believe that the group’s existing businesses are well positioned for further growth”.
The company made a number of small acquisitions during the year especially in the US.
The company said that it was still investing significantly in new technology to boost metal recovery and reduce the impact of waste from the group’s activities.
Earlier this week, European recycling bodies expressed serious concern over a drop in steel consumption and the future of the sector. Steelworks closures, mergers and environmental issues represented a serious threat to the steel sector, the European Ferrous Recovery and Recycling Federation said.