Belgian metal recycling group Umicore lowered its 2024 profit forecast on Wednesday, citing steep cuts to demand projections for battery materials in recent weeks, sending its shares to a near decade low.

The company, which makes catalytic converters and battery materials for carmakers, is the latest supplier to be hit by the slowing electric vehicle (EV) market.

Its shares fell 7% to the bottom of STOXX Europe 600 index in morning trading following the forecast cut.

Umicore was expecting more orders from Chinese EV makers looking to set foot on the continent, but it said on Wednesday that those volumes will not materialize in 2024, while legacy contracts also come to an end faster than anticipated.

The Belgian metal recycling group now expects adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 760 million to 800 million euros ($816.54 to $859.52 million), down from 900 million to 950 million euros.

"Our short-term outlook in battery materials is clearly disappointing. At the same time, the electro-mobility trajectory is not and will not be linear, like in any other significant industry transformation," CEO Bart Sap said in a statement.

Umicore is banking on its European-based battery materials unit to offset the phasing out of internal combustion engines.

The company said it was working with its customers to provide new projections in the coming months. It has started a process to re-assess growth projections, while EV manufacturers review their investments plans.

Umicore's shares have lost about 38% in value this year, trading now at 15.5 euros, the lowest since October 2014. They are down about 27% since the surprise CEO change on May 15.

($1 = 0.9310 euros)

(Reporting by Nathan Vifflin; editing by Jacqueline Wong, Jason Neely and Shinjini Ganguli)