ERJ staff report (LMH)
Brussels -- Sales at Bekaert jumped 34 percent in 2010, reaching Euro 4.5 million, the maker of steel wire products announced in its 25 Feb end-of-year report. Profit (EBITDA) at the company was Euro 725 million compared to Euro 386 million in 2009.
Solid growth was seen in the Asian market, where sales increased by 54 percent due to â€œstrong industrial development across the region,â€ Bekaert said, and sustained recovery in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region led to the 28-percent increase in sales there.
In North America, sales achieved a 35-percent boost, and Bekaert noted that â€œmarket demand in the automotive sector picked up strongly in 2010, while industrial and agricultural continued to perform well.â€
Latin America saw the smallest increase in sales (24 percent), which Bekaert attributed partly to supply restrictions and the exchange rate of the Bolivar in Venezuela. The company noted that the situation in the country remains difficult although operational activities are at â€œacceptableâ€ levels.
Spending on research and development totalled Euro 79 million in 2010, a 25-percent increase on 2009.
The Belgian firm implemented a number of expansion projects in 2010, including a 75-percent increased tyre cord capacity at its plant in Ranjangaon, India, and the purchase of land to build a new steel cord production plant in Chennai, in the south east of the country.
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Press release from Bekaert