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GrafTech Reports Fourth Quarter And Year Ended 2012 Results

The diversification that our Engineered Solutions business provides is expected to partially mitigate the challenging cyclical steel environment that we face. We anticipate solid top line growth and an improved margin profile in this segment as our Engineered Solutions product portfolio shifts to higher margin businesses. The first quarter of 2013 however will be negatively impacted by seasonally slower advanced consumer electronics sales and start up costs associated with investments to support future growth. As a result, operating income for the segment is anticipated to be comparable to the first quarter of 2012. For this segment, we expect double-digit revenue growth for the full year and operating income margins to be in the range of 13 percent to 15 percent in the second half of 2013.

We are targeting full year EBITDA to be in the range of $175 million to $205 million. We expect that the first quarter will be our weakest, with EBITDA targeted to be in the range of $30 million to $40 million. The first quarter of 2013 will be negatively impacted by seasonally lower graphite electrode volumes and higher cost inventory due to the carryover of third party needle coke acquired in 2012 and higher fixed cost absorption associated with lower graphite electrode utilization rates in the fourth quarter of 2012.

In the second half of 2013, we expect improved profitability due to higher sales in both business segments and lower costs in our Industrial Materials segment as we work off higher cost inventory and reflect lower fixed cost per unit of production as operating rates improve. We expect to exit the year with fourth quarter 2013 EBITDA targeted to be in the range of $60 million to $70 million.

We are targeting cash flow from operations to be in the range of $150 million to $180 million in 2013, as we reduce inventory levels related to the third party wind-down agreement and further optimize our Seadrift facility. Finally, we are targeting the effective tax rate to be in the range of 33 percent to 36 percent in 2013 as the tax benefit inherent in our operating model is reduced due to a less favorable mix of jurisdictional profitability. It is important to note, however, that our cash tax rate is estimated to be approximately 10 percentage points lower, or 23 percent to 26 percent, as we effectively utilize foreign tax credits.

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