ERJ staff report (PR)
Brussels - The European Commission (EC) has approved Bekaert SA’s acquisition of Pirelli’s steel cord activities, though 'merger control procedures' are still ongoing in Turkey and Brazil, Bekaert said 1 Aug.
The announcement accompanied a generally positive set of first-half results and news that the EC had also approved Bekaert’s sales and distribution joint venture with Maccaferri.
On the business-performance front, Bekaert reported strong differences in its market regions during the first half of 2014.
The EMEA region delivered “excellent results” driven by strong demand and regained competitiveness, while the rubber reinforcement platform in China defended its market share in a highly competitive market.
Bekaert said it had also managed to maintain its market positions in Latin America but was affected by economic downturn in the region, and by fiscal and political instability in several countries.
The climate, continued the company, “remained difficult for domestic industries in North America, but picked up modestly in the second quarter of the year.”
Looking ahead, Bekaert assumed an unchanged overall global business climate for the rest of the year, but remained cautious on the outlook because of further price erosion in Chinese tire markets.
The company said it “also anticipates a moderate slowdown in the European tire markets and an impact of the usual seasonal effects in the second half of the year. We believe our markets in Latin America have bottomed out.
“We also expect to start seeing some benefits from recent investments come into effect in the second half of 2014 and we will accelerate capital investments in the coming months to support future growth.”
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