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The leap forward of 2022

Campine NV
Campine NV

Regulated information –March 13th 2023 - 08:00

In 2022 Campine acquired a set of assets in the bankruptcy proceedings from its French competitor Recylex. In combination with a strong operational year, this resulted in historical record profits, with the EBITDA reaching € 26.6 mio on a sales revenue which grew to € 317.4 mio.

The acquired assets consist of 2 lead-acid battery breaker plants and a PP plastic recycling factory in France. “Campine is now Europe’s second largest lead-acid battery reprocessing company” states CEO De Vos “There is a clear consolidation in Europe with some temporary and definite lead metal production plant closures, which currently creates a relative shortage of lead metal in Europe. So our expansion in France was perfectly timed” he concludes.


The diversification into plastics recycling was a logical next step “In our business plan we had foreseen to enter the Polypropylene recycling market with an own investment. This acquisition now gives us a leap forward both in plastics as in battery recycling” adds De Vos.

The battery breaker activities in France are hosted in a new business unit called ‘recycled Batteries’ and are integrated in our Circular Metals division (formerly Metals Recycling division) as it is an upstream addition to its business. The plastics recycling company C2P becomes Campine ‘recycled Polymers’ business unit and is hosted in the Specialty Chemicals division, due to its overlap in customers and technology with our Flame Retardant Masterbatches BU (formerly Plastics BU) in Beerse.

The demand in the Specialty Chemicals division remained extremely high until the 2022 summer, normalized during autumn and weakened somewhat further at year-end. The rise of antimony metal prices which started mid 2020 came to its peak of about $ 14,000/ton during the summer and reflected the weakened demand by cooling down towards $ 11,000 at year-end. The second semester was thus rather difficult, as we had to cope with stock value depreciations due to the lower market prices, which put pressure on the margins.

In the Circular Metals division the demand remained strong throughout the year 2022. “With the expansion, we now recycle a volume of 180 thousand tons used batteries, which is the equivalent of 10 million car batteries per year.” says David Wijmans, division director of Campine’s Circular Metals division “Additionally we expanded our feedstock reach, as we now collect used batteries in a much broader region”. Lead LME prices decreased in the 1st semester after the onset of the Russia - Ukraine war, but recovered toward year-end. Campine also continued its efficiency and renewal investments in Beerse by installing new state of the art equipment.

Campine can generally pass on the higher costs such as energy prices, inflation and other increased expenses to the market, although sometimes with a delay to respect active contracts. To cover the unusual high inflation and energy situation Campine worked and is working with its suppliers and customers to spread the burden and reach a balanced ‘new normal’. In comparison with other metallurgical companies, the impact of energy costs at Campine is limited.