Brussels – Bekaert SA’s has posted a 'record-high' first quarter revenue, helped by ‘very strong demand’ from the tire markets over the first three months of the year.
Overall consolidated sales were up 19% at €1.1 billion, with the rubber reinforcement segment contributing more than 44% to total sales.
At €497 million, the rubber unit's first quarter sales were up 23% compared to last year, driven by a pick-up in the automotive market, Bekaert announced 12 May.
Segment volumes exceeded pre-Covid levels with the business seeing “strong pace of recovery,” particularly in Asia, India and Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA).
Furthermore, Bekaert said it had successfully secured raw material supplies for its customers worldwide, and expected demand to remain "at the same high level" in the second quarter of 2021.
In addition, Bekaert noted a strong sales growth within its rubber reinforcement joint venture in Brazil, which reported a 30% increase in revenue at constant exchange rates.
However, the strong devaluation of the Brazilian real had a 25% adverse effect on overall sales.
Bekaert operates three plants in Brazil through a 55.5%-owned joint venture with ArcelorMittal, called Belgo Mineira Bekaert Artefatos de Arame Ltda (BMB).