ERJ staff report (RD)
Kortrijk, Belgium -- Steelcord supplier Bekaert has reported sales up 17 percent to Euro 694 million in the first quarter of 2010, compared to the same period last year.
Strong volumes drove an organic consolidated sales growth of 23.9 percent, while unfavorable currency movements, particularly in Venezuela, had a negative effect of 6.7 percent, a 12 May Bekaert statement said.
Net debt increased to Euro 484 million (year-end 2009: Euro 395 million), â€œmainly due to the acquisition of the two Bridgestone steel cord plants (of which Euro 34 million of the total enterprise value of â‚¬ 70 million were paid on 31 March 2010) and the increase of working capital,â€ the statement said.
Following the transaction, the Sardinia, Italy, and Huizhou, China, plants of Bridgestone have been integrated within the Bekaert Group and will be included in Bekaert's consolidated figures as from 1 April 2010, the company added.
Bekaert said its largest sector, automotive, saw sales demand continue to â€œperform strongly in emerging markets,â€ and improve after a long period of weak economic activity in mature markets.
Bekaert, which splits its business regionally, rather than by segment, reported a sustained recovery in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and higher sales across all platforms. Volumes increased in North America but sales were offset by lower selling prices and unfavourable currency movements, compared to Q1 2009. In Latin America revenues increased 18 percent due to increased demand in Brazil, Columbia and Peru. In contrast to the first quarter last year, sales grew 51 percent in Asia-Pacific, reflecting â€œhigh utilisation of increased capacities and solid demand driven by strong industrial development across the region,â€ the statement said.
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2010 Q1 press release from Bekaert