12-May-2011

Press release

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Today, Bekaert celebrated the opening of its new plant extension in Sládkovičovo, Slovakia. The inauguration event took place in the presence of Mrs Iveta Radičová, Prime Minister of Slovakia, Mr  Róbert Šimončič, CEO of the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency, and Mr Bert De Graeve, Chief Executive Officer of Bekaert.

Bekaert has been present with operations in Slovakia since 10 years and has built an extensive customer base in the region. In response to growing demand and in view of the expected efficiency and flexibility gains, Bekaert decided to extend its production platform in Sládkovičovo with a half products manufacturing unit. The investment encompassed the construction of a new building covering 30 000 m², doubling the plant's original size, the installation of infrastructure and state-of-the-art machinery, and the hiring and training of extra personnel. 100 extra employees were hired in the past months to operate in the new plant extension, while additional recruitment is scheduled in the months ahead.

Bekaert hereby further strengthens its position as a major employer and investor in the region.

Bekaert Profile
Bekaert (
www.bekaert.com ) is a global technological leader in its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings, and a market leader in drawn wire products and applications. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing over 28 000 people worldwide. Serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert pursues sustainable profitable growth in all its activities and generated € 4.5 billion combined sales in 2010.

Bekaert in Central and Eastern Europe
Bekaert has been active in Central and Eastern Europe since the early nineties, and today operates five manufacturing plants there, located in Sládkovičovo and Hhlohovec (Slovakia), Bohumín and Petrovice (Czech Republic), and Lipetsk (Russia). Bekaert produces a wide variety of steel cord and steel wire products in the region, serving the growing local needs of the automotive, energy and construction markets as well as consumer goods sectors.

Bekaert in Slovakia
Bekaert currently employs more than 2 100 people in its two manufacturing facilities in Slovakia: Hlohovec and Sládkovičovo. Accumulated investments in Slovakia add up to € 240 million. The strategic importance of the Slovak operations is reflected in a number of high level events during 2011: early March, Bekaert hosted an international group of financial analysts at its facilities in Slovakia. Later in the year, the entire Board of Directors of Bekaert will visit the company's Slovak plants and will hold one of its regular meetings there. In view of the intensive recruitment efforts, Bekaert translated the HR and Jobs Section of its website into Slovak

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