ERJ staff report (DS)
Kortrijk, Belgium -- Both sales and margins improved at NV Bekaert SA, which has just published its results for the first six months of 2008. Sales of steelcord in China grew by a remarkable 80 percent, while steelcord sales elsewhere declined by nearly 5 percent.
Bekaert said, "within the steel cord China activity platform, the company's target to build up the local annual tyre cord capacity to 300 000 metric tons by the end of 2008 has been already been achieved. The newly started production activity in Karawang, Indonesia, contributed significantly to the strong sales increase of wire Asia." The growth in China significantly out weighed the decline in other regions. Steelcord China now contributes roughly 15 percent of Bekaert's global sales of advanced wire products, while other steelcord activities contribute just 19 percent.
The company added, "In all Western European and North American entities of the activity platform steel cord others, weak market conditions led to a decline in volumes, while currency movements additionally affected the figures. Consequently, the results in these traditional markets remained under pressure."
Within the advanced wire products activity, consolidated sales for the six month period grew to Euro 1138 million from Euro 897 million. Of this steelcord China contributed about Euro 171 million (up from about 95 million), while other steelcord activities contribute about Euro 216 million (down from about Euro 226 million).
Margins (EBIT on sales) in the Advanced wire business improved to 14.9 percent from 11.7 percent a year ago.
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Press release from Bekaert