Brussels – Bekaert SA is set to ‘significantly outperform expectations' in the first half of the year, supported by a strong volume rebound to pre-Covid levels.
Based on "preliminary and unaudited" financial statements, Bekaert expects to post a 30% increase in sales to €2.3 billion for the first half of 2021, it announced 19 July.
The Belgian group expects underlying EBIT for the first six months to come in at €285 million, tripling the 2020 levels.
“We project good demand in most markets in the second half of the year,” said the Bekaert trading update.
However, it said, “the usual seasonality effects," supply chain interruptions and other challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic continue to pose a risk.
For the second half of the year, Bekaert said it projected a “much lower” inventory valuation impact, as raw material prices are anticipated to stabilise.
The underlying EBIT, therefore, is projected to be lower than the first half and on a par with the second half last year, it added.
The Belgian group will publish its full first half results on 30 July.
During the first quarter of the year, Bekaert posted a 'record-high' revenue, helped by ‘very strong demand’ from the tire markets.
Overall first quarter 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.