While revenues in the Steel Division fell by 8.1% in a market environment that continued to be difficult for cyclical reasons, the Industrial Division recorded growth of 11.7% due to strong cement business and the delivery of major projects in the nonferrous metals business unit.
The operating result of the first quarter was increased by 47.0% compared with the same period of 2012 despite the delayed commissioning of the fusion lines in Norway and, at € 49.4 mil-lion, also exceeded the level of the fourth quarter of 2012. As no restructuring costs were incurred in the past quarter, the operating result also corresponds to EBIT. The EBIT margin improved significantly from 7.7% to 11.6%. Tax expenses in the first quarter of 2013 include provisions for a current tax audit. The tax rate calculated from the cash flow item "income taxes paid" amounted to 20.6%.
Equity amounted to € 511.6 million as of March 31, 2013, after € 480.5 million as of December 31, 2012. Due to the partial payment of the purchase price for the Indian company Orient Refractories Ltd., cash and cash equivalents fell from € 185.7 million to € 152.4 million. Net debt rose from € 418.5 million to € 444.6 million.
The gearing ratio improved slightly from 87.1% to 86.9% due to the higher equity. Net cash flow from operating activities amounted to € 37.8 million despite a significant increase in working capital. Net cash flow from investing activities in the past quarter amounted to € (60.1) million and largely includes the acquisition of ORL. The number of employees increased from 7,917 at December 31, 2012 to 7,976.
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