By Liz White, ERJ staff
Brussels-Steel producer NV Bekaert SA saw strong sales growth in all regions in the first half of 2005, with sales of Euro 1514 million and consolidated sales of Euro 971 million-increases of 16 and 13 percent respectively.
Bekaert said it performed very well in Latin America and also in Asia, more specifically in China.â€
The Brussels headquartered manufacturer saw demand for steel tyre cord to reinforce radial tyres further increase worldwide. Major investments by Bekaert in various important regions, such as China, have bolstered its market position. but the company warns that it, faces a clear weakening of the economic environment in most of the mature markets in Europe and North America.â€
Bekaert's operating result was Euro 85 million, compared to Euro 71 million in the first half of 2004. Total net profit was Euro 130 million, compared to Euro 79 million.
Bekaert said it continues to invest in optimising its production capacity and streamlining its product portfolio.
Combined sales of advanced wire products increased by 15 percent (wire Europe -2 percent; wire North America -1 percent; wire Latin America +24 percent; wire Asia +12 percent; building products -2 percent; steel cord China +28 percent; steel cord others +24 percent; other advanced wire products +7 percent).