Kortrijk, Belgium--Bekaert, the steel cord producer, reported a record year in 2004, with combined corporate sales up 20 percent, at Euro 3144 million. In the advanced wire unit, the company reported combined sales (including all subsidiaries and joint ventures) of Euro 2411 milllion, up 21.3 percent compared with a year earlier.
The company broke down the 21 percent growth figure thus: Europe +17%, North America +22%, Latin America +32%, Asia +49%, steel cord China +1%, steel cord others +21% and other advanced wire products +2%.
In a statement, Bekaert said, "Worldwide demand for steel cord products for tire reinforcement was especially strong. Growth slowed temporarily in China, due to government measures, but the market improved a little by the end of the year. Bekaert expanded its sales organisation in China, thereby focusing on the needs of the various customer groups. Because the new Chinese production capacity is fully integrated into Bekaert's global production platform for steel cord products, exports from China helped meet the high level of demand in other parts of the world, which also contributed to the vigorous growth of the activity platform steel cord others."
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Press release from Bekaert