Bekaert: First quarter trading update 2017


Press release

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Bekaert makes strong start to 2017
Strong volume growth and M&A boost Q1 sales by 20% 
Bekaert achieved a 20% increase in consolidated revenue, reaching € 1 061 million for the first quarter of 2017. This sound growth was marked by more than 10% organic sales growth, 3% positive currency effects and 6.5% growth from M&A. 

With organic volume growth exceeding 6%, the first quarter saw an acceleration compared to the same period last year. We continued to grow volumes in automotive, industrial steel wire and construction markets. The oil and gas markets remained weak and demand from solar markets was down in comparison with a very strong first quarter last year. We achieved solid organic growth in all segments except in Latin America, where stronger local currencies and subdued demand led to increased competitive pressure. 
The aggregate effect of wire rod price increases and price-mix added 4% to the organic top line growth. 

Compared with the same period last year, most currencies' exchange rates increased versus the euro, leading to a total favorable currency effect of +3% in consolidated sales. The incremental impact of the Bridon integration within the Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group drove consolidated sales up by +6.5%.

Combined sales increased by 19% to € 1 223 million as a result of organic growth (+6.6%) and the Bridon merger effects (+5.6%). Currency movements added +6.5% at the combined level and were particularly driven by a steep increase of the Brazilian real compared with the same period last year.