In the course of the start-up of the newly established fusion plant in Norway in late November, a technical defect occurred while material was fed in, which caused a crucible to spill over and consequently required the entire melting operations to be shut down. As it is taking longer than expected to repair the damage, start-up costs will be higher. Moreover, the positive contribution to earnings due to increased vertical integration cannot be realized in the first quarter. The EBIT margin in the first quarter of 2013 will therefore be slightly below the figure of the comparable period of 2012.
Nevertheless, the Management Board of RHI is confident that the guidance of 2013, which was issued as part of the publication of the third quarterly report and provides for revenues at a similar level as in 2012 as well as a further improvement in the EBIT margin, will be met.
The re-commissioning of the melting operation will start again in February. Full-load operation, with an annual production of roughly 80,000 tons of seawater-based fused magnesia, is expected for March; this will effectively make RHI self-sufficient in fused magnesia outside of China.