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Graftech International CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

In 2011, we completed two acquisitions, Micron Research and FMI. Over the past 14 months, we have closed on four acquisitions that enhance both our industrial materials and Engineered Solutions business segments further in our strategic growth goals and improved their competitive of our business model.

The integration is now complete with Seadrift and St. Marys. In 2011, they delivered $91 million of EBITDA, slightly more than a $90 million we guided to. In the fourth quarter after completion of the $2 million share buyback, we announced a new repurchase program for up to $10 million additional shares.

Turing to our Q4 results, total company sales improved 24% to $348 million, EBITDA came in at $75 million, up 47% versus 2010. Net income was $45 million, or $0.31 per share. In our Industrial Materials segments, sales increased 26% to $297 million in the fourth quarter. Operating income for the segment was $49 million, up over 50% compared to the prior year. In our Engineered Solutions segment, sales were $51 million in the fourth quarter. Operating income was $4 million. The decrease in operating income was primarily due to a decline in the solar market.

Turing to outlook, the IMF in its latest report dated January 24, 2012, projected world output to expand by approximately 3.25%. This projection presents the second time since June, 2011 they have reduced their numbers as the global recovery continues to move at a slower than previously expected pace.

Furthermore, the IMF is now projecting a mild recession in Europe as a result of the continued European debt crisis. The January report highlights that downside risk have intensified globally over the past few months. Also noting the slow down in Europe, the European Steel Association issued a report on February 3, 2012, highlighting the European recession and expectations that recessionary conditions will continue through much of 2012. According to the World Steel Association total steel production declined approximately 5% from Q3 to Q4 last year with Europe accounting for much of the decline.

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