Aurubis AG
Traded as FWB: NDA
Industry Metals and Mining
Predecessor Norddeutsche Affinerie, Cumerio
Founded 17 December 2008
Headquarters Hamburg, Germany
Number of locations
Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, United States, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Slovakia, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden
Area served
Europe, USA, Asia
Key people
Peter Willbrandt (CEO and Chairman of the management board), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Heinz Jörg Fuhrmann (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Copper extraction, recycling of copper and precious metals, manufactured copper products
Revenue €13,336 billion (2010/2011)[1]
€455,5 million (2010/2011)[2]
Profit €320,8 million (2010/2011)[2]
Total assets €4,333 billion (September 2011)[3]
Total equity €1,740 billion (September 2011)[4]
Number of employees
6,279 (September 2011)[5]
Aerial view of the headquarters in Hamburg
The sites of Aurubis AG

Aurubis AG (formerly Norddeutsche Affinerie AG) is listed on the stock exchange[6] and is the largest copper producer in Europe[7] (the second largest in the world) and the largest copper recycler worldwide. Its headquarters is in Hamburg, Germany. After the acquisition of the Belgian copper producer Cumerio by Norddeutsche Affinerie AG on 18 February 2008, the company re-branded itself as Aurubis as of 1 April 2009.

Aurubis produces more than one million tonnes of copper cathodes annually and from them a variety of copper products. It employs about 6,300 people (updated: September 2011).


Aurubis names the company ‘Beit, Marcus und Salomon Gold- und Silberscheider’ (‘Beit, Marcus und Salomon gold and silver parting’) in the Elbstrasse in Hamburg as its predecessor. It was first mentioned in the Hamburg merchant almanac in 1783, but Marcus Salomon Beit was already given the permission to build a silver parting and smelting furnace in Hamburg in 1770. As time went on, the company did not only smelt coins and precious metal alloys but also silver ores so that a shift of the production towards ore smelting occurred. After 1830 Hamburg ship owners started to ship copper ore on the emigration ships when they returned to Germany from North and South America or even Australia. In 1846 the ‘Elbkupferwerk’ was founded on the river Elbe’s island Steinwerder in cooperation with Johann Cesar Godeffroy and Siegmund Robinow.

The economic recovery led to the foundation of the ‘Elbhütten Affinerie- und Handelsgesellschaft’ in 1856 which merged the Elbkupferwerk and the Beit gold and silver parting company. Delivery and smelting of copper and silver ores were processed in Steinwerder, the Elbstrasse site took care of the processing by ‘affination’ in smelters and the sale of the products. The annual copper production amounted to 3,000 tonnes. On 28 April 1866 Norddeutsche Affinerie was founded as a stock corporation with participation of Norddeutsche Bank and Allgemeine Deutsche Kreditanstalt.[8]

Copper was produced at the ‘Peute’, an industrial area of the Hamburg district Veddel since 1910. The production plants occupy great parts of the industrial area there.

Dr Werner Marnette was CEO was from 1994 to 9 November 2007.

Dr Bernd Drouven was appointed CEO from 2008 to 31 December 2011.

Peter Willbrandt was appointed CEO as of 1 January 2012.

Norddeutsche Affinerie took over 91% of the Belgium copper producer Cumerio until 18 February 2008 after a long dispute with the Austrian A-TEC Industries. A Squeeze-Out completed the acquisition of Cumerio on 15 April 2008.[9]

In March 2009, the General Meeting of Norddeutsche Affinerie renamed the company to Aurubis.[10]


Cross section of an Aurubis copper billet produced by continuous casting: radial crystallite structure revealed after etching.

The core business is the production of copper cathodes from copper concentrates, scrap and recycling materials (copper refining). These are processed within the Group into continuous cast wire rod, shapes, rolled products and strips as well as special wire made of copper and copper alloys. Precious metals are as well an important product field of Aurubis. The group produces and markets all other important elements of the copper production as specialty products. These are amongst others sulphuric acid and iron silicate.

Customers of Aurubis include companies in the copper semis industry, the electrical engineering, electronics and chemical industries as well as suppliers of the renewable energies, construction and automotive sectors.

The company was affiliated in the encyclopaedia of German world market leaders in 2010.

Shareholder structure

Aurubis is a member of the Deutsche Börse's Prime Standard segment and is listed in the MDAX and in the Global Challenges Index (GCX).

Shareholder structure since 29 August 2011:[11]


Fiscal year 2010/11[12]

The good raw material supply ensured high capacity utilisation of the production plants during the entire fiscal year. Overall, a total of 2,057,000 t of concentrates (2,063,000 t in the prior year) were processed at the Hamburg and Pirdop sites. The sulphuric acid output decreased to 2,002,000 t (2,071,000 t in the prior year) due to the concentrate throughput. At 934,000 t (932,000 t in the prior year), the cathode output increased again. The operating EBT of Business Unit (BU) Primary Copper rose significantly to €169.5 million (€65.4 million in the prior year). This increase in earnings is especially attributed to the favourable market trend for copper and copper raw materials as well as sulphuric acid.

At 213,000 t, the cathode output of BU Recycling/ Precious Metals during the past fiscal year slightly exceeded the prior-year value of 212,000 t. The throughput quantity of the Kayser Recycling System (KRS) was raised by 12%, from 233,000 t in the prior year to 260,000 t. The new production methods resulting from the KRS-Plus unit commissioned in June were already apparent. The good supply of precious metal-bearing input materials allowed us to increase the quantity of recovered silver to 1,367 t (1,339 t in the prior year). The gold output decreased to 35 t (38 t in the prior year) due to the feed but was still at a high level. The BU’s operating earnings before taxes doubled to €100.1 million, compared to €49.4 million in the prior year.

In BU Copper Products, the good economic trend resulted in high demand for copper products in the first few months of the fiscal year. The quantity of wire rod produced increased by about 3% to 785,000 t (766,000 t in the prior year), while at 197,000 t, the output of continuous cast shapes did not quite reach the prior-year value of 210,000 t. The positive economic environment overall was reflected in the BU’s good operating EBT, which rose from €47.9 million to €49.7 million.

Environmental protection

Environmental and climate protection are among the key targets of Aurubis’ corporate strategy and are outlined in the company guidelines. State-of-the-art plant technologies which set international benchmarks are used in environmental protection. The expansion of recycling activities in the Group helps to close material cycles in an environmentally friendly way and is thus an important contribution to sustainable development. Beyond compliance with legal requirements, voluntary commitments like the chemical industry’s “Responsible Care” initiative are important instruments for continuously improving performance in environmental and health protection at Aurubis. A uniform environmental standard was created and implemented for the Aurubis Group. The environmental management system at all of the main sites in the Aurubis Group are ISO 14001 certified. The Hamburg and Lünen sites as well as Schwermetall Halbzeugwerk are EMAS certified.[13]

A total of €359 million has been invested in environmental protection measures at the Hamburg site in the past 30 years. Five agreements on improving environmental protection and increasing energy efficiency have been concluded with the Hamburg State Authority of Urban Development and Environment and successfully implemented. In February 2011 a sixth emission reduction agreement was concluded between Aurubis and the city of Hamburg. This sixth agreement comprises environmental protection measures with a capital expenditure totalling about €20 million and is in effect until 2016.

Aurubis, formerly Norddeutsche Affinerie, is considered to be the biggest heavy metal emitter in northern Germany. In the early 1980s, arsenic and cadmium in particular were shown to be present in the wastewater discharge and in the stacks’ exhaust air.[14] There was an arsenic scandal in Hamburg in 1985 when it was discovered that heavy metals had accumulated in the soil in eastern Hamburg, especially in agricultural areas. This became a scandal because the Hamburg authorities tried to conceal it. The environmental protection group Physik-Geowissenschaften took water and soil samples showing that arsenic, cadmium, copper, zinc and other heavy metals had accumulated in the harbour mud in front of the plant and was still entering the river Elbe in 2005 through cracks in the embankment.

Financial situation and capital expenditure

Fiscal year 2010/11[12]

The good business performance had a positive effect on the IFRS gross cash flow, which at €792 million was €280 million up on the prior-year value (€512 million in the prior year). Cash outflow from the change in working capital amounted to €374 million, about €53 million below the comparable prior-year value. Overall, net cash flow in the reporting period amounted to €418 million, which was €333 million above the prior-year value.

Investments (including financial fixed assets and prior to the acquisition of Luvata RPD) amounted to €116 million (€151 million in the prior year) in the reporting period and primarily consisted of investments in property, plant and equipment. The largest investments were allotted to the expansion of complex secondary material processing (KRS-Plus) at the Lünen site, which went into operation in the past fiscal year, the expansion of concentrate processing at the Hamburg site (Future RWO) and the expansion of anode slime processing at the Hamburg site.

A free cash flow of €302 million results after deducting investments in fixed assets from the net cash flow, which is €368 million above the prior year. Net payments amounting to €159 million were made in the current fiscal year for the acquisition of interests in affiliated companies of Luvata’s Rolled Products Division. Taking interest payments and received dividends into account, there is a cash outflow of €257 million from investing activities.


As of 2010:

As of 2008/2009:

Aurubis Executive and Supervisory Boards

Executive Board

Supervisory Board

Notable people


External links

Media related to Aurubis at Wikimedia Commons

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