Fourth quarter trading update 2008

Bekaert sales top € 4 billion in 2008 (+17.3%)

 

In 2008, Bekaert achieved consolidated sales of € 2.66 billion and combined sales of € 4.01 billion,
an increase of 22.5% and 17.3% respectively. [1] [2]

Growth in consolidated sales stemmed 17.7% from organic growth, largely driven by passed on raw material price increases, and 5.8% from the acquisitions in Vicson (Venezuela) and in Proalco (Colombia). Fluctuations in several exchange rates largely compensated each other with a net negative impact of 1.0%.

Even in the fourth quarter of 2008, the economic downturn notwithstanding and compared with a strong last quarter of 2007, Bekaert posted consolidated growth of 5%.

Consolidated and combined sales by business segment – full year 2008  

2008

Consolidated sales

 

Combined sales

 

 

Millions of €

Variance

 

Millions of €

Variance

 

Advanced wire products

2 331

+26.4%

 

3 690

+19.2%

 

Advanced materials

199

-2.0%

 

199

-2.0%

 

Advanced coatings

121

-3.1%

 

121

-3.1%

 

Intersegment sales and others

12

-

 

-

-

 

Total

2 663

+22.5%

 

4 010

+17.3%

 

 

Combined sales by activity platform – full year 2008 versus 2007  

Advanced wire products

+19.2%

 

Advanced materials

-2.0%

Wire Europe

+7.3%

 

Stainless

-33.5%

Wire North America

+19.2%

 

Fiber technologies

+3.7%

Wire Latin America

+19.8%

 

Combustion technologies

-5.6%

Wire Asia

+73.8%

 

Composites

+42.9%

Building products

+21.7%

 

 

 

Steel cord China

+63.7%

 

Advanced coatings

-3.1%

Steel cord others

+1.4%

 

Industrial coatings

-7.0%

Other advanced wire products

-24.3%

 

Specialized films

-0.1%

 

Bekaert advanced wire products posted vigorous sales growth across nearly all activity platforms throughout 2008.

Wire Europe experienced difficult market conditions, especially in the Western European platforms. In wire North and Latin America, sales grew by almost 20% as a result of sustained demand and increased price levels reflecting the raw material-linked price increases. Building products revenues rose 22%, maintaining high activity levels across all entities.

Increased demand and Bekaert's matching local production capacity offering a broad and dedicated product portfolio, combined to produce growth in the Asian wire and steel cord activity platforms. Lower market demand in Western Europe and North America has led to almost flat sales in steel cord others.

Compared with 2007, revenues from advanced materials and advanced coatings were slightly down.

Lower sales of stainless products resulted from a decline in demand and decreasing nickel-based raw material prices. Industrial coatings and combustion technologies were particularly impacted by the economic downturn. Composites grew strongly in highly competitive market circumstances.

The nominal growth of specialized film coatings (+6%) was canceled out entirely by exchange rate movements.

The global economic crisis started to impact demand in most activity platforms during the fourth quarter of 2008. Customers in diverse industries and regions postponed orders and gave priority to using available stocks first. However, market demand for innovative products with high added value was sustained throughout the year. This particularly applied to Bekaert's advanced wire products for the utilities sector.

Combined sales by geographical area – full year 2008  

2008

Combined sales

 

Millions of €

Variance

Europe

1 100

+4.0%

North America

589

+8.3%

Latin America

1 515

+21.4%

Asia

764

+47.8%

Other regions

42

-19.5%

Total

4 010

+17.3%

Outlook 

Consolidated sales from January onwards will include the revenues of Ideal Alambrec (Ecuador) and Prodac (Peru), as the regional holding company covering the businesses in Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Colombia came into effect on 1 January 2009. Bekaert holds 80% of the shares in this holding company. Consequently, all respective entities will be included in the consolidated perimeter as of the start of 2009.

Short-term visibility on market developments is extremely limited. However, Bekaert does not expect the current activity slowdown to last on a company-wide scale. The company's proven resilience now shows in its flexibility to optimally manage production capacity and capital spending in line with demand and to limit working capital and cost levels accordingly.

Notwithstanding the economic circumstances, Bekaert is confident that its broad geographical coverage with a strong presence in emerging markets, as well as its growing portfolio of product innovations, will be of strategic importance. Bekaert will closely monitor market developments and customer requirements, so advantage can be taken of opportunities the moment they arise.

 


[1] All comparisons are made relative to the financial year 2007. The figures in this press release are provisional and unaudited. The full annual results will be published on 13 March, 2009.

[2] Combined sales are sales of consolidated companies plus 100% of sales of joint ventures and associates after intercompany elimination.

[3]   Excluding ‘intersegment sales and others’.
 

Contact info

Katelijn Bohez
Chief Communications Officer

President Kennedypark 18
8500 Kortrijk - Belgium

Telephone: +32 56 23 05 11
Telefax: +32 56 23 05 48

Contact Us

better together

  • transmission-cable

    Situation

    Alcan and Bekaert joined forces to install 210 miles of transmission cable

    Solution

    Bekaert seamlessly adjusted the lengths of the reels to help Alcan’s trucks drive through mountainous terrain

    Result

    Alcan could meet their customer’s delivery requirements

  • Algeciras-port

    Situation

    Optimal reinforcement required for the concrete pavement of the Algeciras port terminal in Spain.

    Solution

    Concrete strengthened with Dramix steel fibers, offering high fatigue resistance and load bearing capacity.

    Result

    The solution largely exceeds the Spanish standard for the design and construction of port pavement set at a durability of at least 25 years.

  • ski

    Situation

    Skiers count on safety when they go up the mountain

    Solution

    In close cooperation Bekaert developed superior quality wires that meet the technical customer requirements of ropeway constructors

    Result

    The customer handles the production of the cables, but also on-site weaving (or splicing) and installation. The cables have a life expectancy up to 40 years

  • Bezinal-2000

    Situation

    Although zinc provides a barrier to corrosion in most environments, specific conditions accelerate the corrosion process

    Solution

    Bekaert, drawing from its deep expertise in coating technology, has developed an advanced zinc/aluminum coating

    Result

    Bezinal® 2000 increases corrosion resistance with up to 500% compared to traditional galvanization

  • Bezinal-Plus-cardoor-lock

    Situation

    Although zinc provides a barrier to corrosion in most environments, specific conditions accelerate the corrosion process

    Solution

    Bekaert, drawing from its deep expertise in coating technology, has developed an advanced zinc/aluminum coating

    Result

    The Bezinal®PLUS coating eliminates expensive supplementary coatings for many applications, thus ensuring increased wear life for spring wire applications

  • Brickforce

    Situation

    Want to create long aesthetical walls and avoid movement joints

    Solution

    Applying Brickforce® allows me to double my joint distance

    Result

    With Brickforce® masonry reinforcement I can create new and exciting masonry wall design

  • Dramix-civil

    Situation

    You want to apply innovative solutions tailored to your projects

    Solution

    We analyze possibilities and come with economical solutions

    Result

    Save money and time during construction

  • Dramix-club

    Situation

    Learning about and finding your specific situation for an innovative and safe concrete reinforcement

    Solution

    Dramix® Club serves you with product info, design tools and execution details

    Result

    All specialists in the construction in industry can find ready-to-use tools & info

  • Drapo

    Situation

    Customer wants to design safely and economically

    Solution

    Bekaert offered and learned how to design industrial floors using the Drapo online software tool

    Result

    Customers have a fast way of design, with a full back-up team

  • Dramix

    Situation

    Looking for new opportunities for high performance constructions

    Solution

    Dramix® offers constructors an efficient and cost effective concrete reinforcement

    Result

    Gain on labor and time

  • concrete-pipe

    Situation

    We had huge rebar stocks and were dependent on our suppliers of traditional rebar

    Solution

    With Bekaert’s help, we switched to Dramix® for all our concrete pipe diameters

    Result

    Now we can respond easily to the specific demand of our customers

  • using-Dramix

    Situation

    I want to increase my productivity

    Solution

    Skip mesh placing by using Dramix®

    Result

    Can offer my customers a faster and more economical solution

  • Bekaert-lab

    Situation

    We need a safe solution and huge monthly volumes

    Solution

    Via tests in the Bekaert lab, we worked out the required fiber mix with the lowest cost to serve our customers

    Result

    Cost efficiency must not be a compromise on quality

  • Mesh-track

    Situation

    Our concrete taxiways were in a terrible state

    Solution

    Mesh track was the only alternative for us to solve the problem

    Result

    In an 8 year period, we had only positive experiences with this durable solution

  • Murfor

    Situation

    Want to create long aesthetical walls and avoid movement joints

    Solution

    Applying Murfor® allows me to double my joint distance

    Result

    Using Murfor®, I can create modern masonry walls

  • Stucanet

    Situation

    As an architect, I want unlimited possibilities to create round forms

    Solution

    Applying Stucanet® allows an easy execution

    Result

    Ease of use is not a compromise on creativity

  • burner

    Situation

    Customer demand for compact boiler design through a total solution.

    Solution

    Joint development of an environment-friendly burner system.

    Result

    Customers improve their competitiveness.

  • muselet

    Situation

    ICAS-HITE-Schneider group face ever higher demands and improving manufacturing standards for champagne muselets, the wire nets over the corks on sparkling wines

    Solution

    Development of Bekilacq®, a galvanized wire which we can lacquer in any color and doesn’t flake

    Result

    Bekaert continuous to cherish and support their unique partnership with the ICAS-HITE’s group

  • diesel-particulate-filter

    Situation

    Ever-tougher emission standards and legislation are forcing OEMs to develop ever-cleaner engines.

    Solution

    A sintered metal fiber web made of Bekaert metal fibers is used in a diesel particulate filter to lower the emission and to make filter maintenance redundant.

    Result

    Customers discover that filtration based on metal fibers is an excellent alternative to traditional ceramic filters.

  • booster

    Situation

    Increasing regulation and demand for product certification.

    Solution

    Dramix® booster: a proportioning device to integrate in ready mix depots.

    Result

    Automated mixing in set proportions.

  • Dramix-green

    Situation

    Fight corrosion as one of the main causes of damage to reinforced concrete.

    Solution

    Development of Dramix®Green containing a new corrosion inhibitor.

    Result

    Checking for surface defects in the concrete is no longer needed and rust stains are a thing of the past.

  • diesel-engine

    Situation

    Development of an environment-friendly diesel engine for trucks.

    Solution

    A revolutionary cable, strong and weather-proof.

    Result

    EURO 5-proof solution applied in a quarter of all trucks in Europe.

  • elevator

    Situation

    Nork-2 and Bekaert joined forces to develop a solution for a lightweight, energy efficient machine room-less elevator.

    Solution

    Bekaert created Flexisteel®, an thin but very durable elevator rope that runs perfectly on the small diameter sheaves of the compact Nork-2 machines. Its properties not only exceed those of conventional elevator cables, it also allows a more economical elevator design than flat belts.

    Result

    Thanks to Bekaert and Flexisteel® Nork-2 can service the elevator industry with a competitive MRL solution.

  • wiper-blade

    Situation

    Intensive relationship leads to co-development.

    Solution

    Developing a flat wire allowing simplified wiper blade production & design.

    Result

    New dynamic in wiper blade industry.

  • flexible-pipe

    Situation

    In the offshore oil and gas industry, flexible pipe manufacturers are looking more and more for wires with sour resistant properties.

    Solution

    Based on rolling and heat treatment technologies, Bekaert creates niche solutions tailored to the customers'needs.

    Result

    Customers receive added value way down the supply chain.

  • guardrail

    Situation

    In the US, medians are generally not protected by a guardrail, the resulting head-on accidents often take a huge toll.

    Solution

    The integration of a Bekaert cable in the K-12 rated median barrier system, developed by Gibraltar.

    Result

    A tight partnership between Bekaert and Gibraltar Cable Barrier System resulted in the installation of the new system in 15 different states across North America.

  • heating-cord

    Situation

    Cut emissions of Nox Nitrogen oxides in diesel engines, which involves injecting a urea-based liquid into the exhaust.

    Solution

    Bekaert heating cord is a special plastic-coated stainless-steel cable with a specific electrical resistance, reinforcing the injection hose.

    Result

    Today, Bekaert heating cord is fitted as standard to about a quarter of all the trucks in Europe.

  • high-voltage-power-line

    Situation

    Growing demand for transmission capacity, requiring resistance to increasing operating temperatures.

    Solution

    A steel core based conductor concept based on Bekaert wires with increased strength and an alternative coating

    Result

    Increased power grid capacity within the existing high voltage power lines network.

  • general-cable

    Situation

    Approximately 70% of transmission lines in the U.S. are more than 25 years old

    Solution

    Bekaert supplied General Cable all of the ACSR 7-wire strand for a project that involved 4 million feet of transmission cable

    Result

    Bekaert is a reliable global partner for General Cable’s future growth

  • shovel

    Situation

    Maximizing the efficiency of mechanical shovels by improving long-lasting wire rope

    Solution

    Incorporating a flat wire around the rope in the area where damage was occurring

    Result

    70% reduction in shovel downtime

  • wind-turbine

    Situation

    Ultra-strong and length-stable material is needed to reinforce synchronous belts which drive wind turbine blades.

    Solution

    A high-quality steel cord comprised of 83 twisted wires.

    Result

    Optimum tensile strength, length stability and adhesion with the rubber belt providing the wind turbine manufacturer with a substantially lighter, maintenance-free and space-saving solution.

  • steel-cord

    Situation

    Request for close contact with and tailor-made advice from Bekaert.

    Solution

    Bekaert teams visit customers’ plants to check on how our product is performing.

    Result

    Close to our steel cord customers, literally and figuratively.

  • HITE

    Situation

    Combining perfection and high production speed + maintain the rapid pace of growth.

    Solution

    The launch of a total quality management (TQM) project at the HITE plant in Spain.

    Result

    Higher output, a significant waste reduction and high cost savings for both parties.

  • wire-rod

    Situation

    Secure customer supply of our products despite extremely high market demand for wire rod and supply shortage.

    Solution

    Carry on Bekaert’s strategy of sourcing locally and maintaining good relations with suppliers.

    Result

    Continued production and delivery guarantee.

  • forklift

    Situation

    Preventing forklift accidents on the shop floor involving impact damage and personal injury

    Solution

    A wireless safety monitoring system that fully controls forklift access by means of specific identification keys, reports impact detection in real time, disables the forklift and sounds an audible alarm upon impact.

    Result

    Increased operator accountability has improved driving behavior and repair costs were brought down considerably.

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