Kortrijk, Belgium -Â Chinese sales of steelcord continue to boom for Bekaert. The company reported a growth of 53 percent in steelcord sales to China for the first six months of 2007, comapared with the same period a year earlier. This boom contributed to an overall record in six-month sales for the wire-making company.
Sales of advanced wire products -Â which includes all steelcord and bead wire operations - grew by 5 percent to â‚¬897 million in the first half. When joint venture and subsidiary operations are taken into account, consolidated sales grew by 4 percent, to â‚¬1508 million.
Taken across all Bekaert activities -Â which are dominated by advanced wire products - sales in North America fell by 18 percent to â‚¬273 million, however, sales growth elsewhere in the world more than compaensated for this. Bekaert has always been strong in Europe, where sales grew 12 percent, to â‚¬536 million in the period, The big change, however, is in Asia, where the company saw 32 percent growth over the same period a year ago. Asia brought in â‚¬217 miillion in sales in the period.
Sales of steelcord in China increased by 53 percent, and now makes up 10 percent of the the company's consolidated sales, or â‚¬167 million. Sales of steelcord elsewhere in the world fell by nine percent, and these now contribute 24 percent of consolidated sales, or â‚¬400 million.
In its corporate statement, Bekaert said, "In China, where car and truck tyre production again saw rapid growth, Bekaert significantly reinforced its leadership position. In the first half of 2007, the company invested another â‚¬Â 50Â million in expanding its production capacity and extending its product portfolio."
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Press release from Bekaert