ERJ staff report (DS)
Kortrijk, Belgium -- Bekaert has announced record profit (EBITDA) on record sales for the 12 months to December 2007. The company today said it achieved consolidated sales of € 2174 million and combined sales of € 3.419 million, an increase of 8.2 percent and 7.0 percent respectively. Profit (EBITDA) stood at Euro 299 million (up 14 percent).
The Advanced wire products unit -- which includes the company's steelcord business -- dominated the sales and income figures, with consolidated sales up to Euro 1844 million from 1689 million. EBITDA in this sector was Euro 314 million, up from Euro 276 million.
Sales of steelcord in China continued to boom, with that number up by 48 percent, bringing the share of that unit to 12 percent of all Advanced wire sales. Despite a decline in steelcord sales in other regions, overall steelcord sales increased by 8.4 percent, said Bekaert.
Bekaert said, "Steel cord China reported again substantial growth. To meet the strong market demand, the company invested in significant capacity expansion at its plants in Jiangyin (Jiangsu province) and Shenyang (Liaoning province) in 2007. This raised the total capacity for steel cord for the reinforcement of car and truck tyres to 250 000 tonnes by the end of the year. The workforce has also grown steadily, to over 5 000. "
The company added, "In the other regions, sales of steel cord were adversely affected by increased pressure on prices and exchange rate effects. In North America, there was also a decline in demand, which Bekaert had already anticipated by closing its steel cord plant in Dyersburg."
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Press release from Bekaert