Last year saw the reversal of the upward trend observed in lead prices on the London Metals Exchange (LME) last year. During the year, the lead quotation rate kept trending down. The simultaneous drop in lead prices and the US dollar exchange rate had a significant impact on the prices of products, and thus the revenues realised by the Group. The prices of raw materials were largely correlated with the situation on the lead market and the price of this metal at LME.
In the past year, significant legislative changes occurred in relation to the Waste Act. The new regulations imposed restrictive requirements on waste processors and collectors including our Group. As a result of the changes already introduced in the second half of last year, significant price increases were visible on the market in terms of waste collection and management. As a consequence, our results could not remain unaffected.
"Last year we observed an increase in the costs of the operations of the company as a result of the dynamically changing market environment, rising environmental costs, energy prices, and services. Our business was also affected by the events related to the loss and subsequent recovery of our control of Orzeł Surowce and its subsidiaries," said Michael Rohde Pedersen, President of the Management Board of Orzeł Biały.
In 2018, we continued our efforts to acquire a strategic investor. As a result of the review of strategic options which had been conducted since July 2017 in cooperation with the financial advisor ING Bank N.V. London Branch, at the time being none of the bidders submitted a binding offer to the Company despite the interest in the process.
At the end of this February, we received a notification regarding the conclusion of a conditional share purchase agreement for shares in NEF Battery Holdings S.a.r.l. In the event of effective performance of the agreement, the majority stake in the Company will be indirectly purchased by ZAP Sznajder Batterien S.A.
"Currently, we are closely watching the course of events regarding the potential change of the entity controlling the Company. Depending on the ultimate arrangements, we will make further decisions regarding the continuation or completion of the strategic options review process conducted by the Company,"- said Michael Rohde Pedersen, President of the Management Board of Orzeł Biały.
In addition, in line with the adopted strategy, we continued to streamline the structure of the Group to focus on the core business. As a Group, we continue investing in the area of environmental protection as well as work health & safety. We follow the changing market, investing into research and development, which gives us a competitive advantage and a strong, stable market position that allows us to face the dynamically changing environment.
Orzeł Biały refined lead sales volumes (kT)
source: Orzeł Biały
Consolidatef financial performance of Orzeł Biały Group