2007-05-09



9 May 2007  First quarter trading update 2007- Bekaert  confirms good start

 

In the first quarter of 2007 Bekaert achieved consolidated sales of € 514 million and combined sales of € 811 million, an increase of 7% and 2% respectively. [1] [2] [3]

The consolidated sales’ increase was 6% from organic growth and 4% from the net movement in acquisitions and divestments, while currency movements had a negative impact of 3%.

The impact of currency movements on combined sales totaled -4%.

Consolidated and combined sales by business segment

First quarter 2007

Consolidated sales

 

Combined sales

 

in millions of €

variance

 

in millions of €

variance

Advanced wire products

437

+8%

 

734

+4%

Advanced materials

47

+8%

 

47

+8%

Advanced coatings

31

+1%

 

31

+1%

Intersegment sales and others

-1

-

 

-1

-

Total

514

+7%

 

811

+2%

Combined sales by activity platform

Advanced wire products:

+4%

 

Advanced materials

+8%

Wire Europe

+22%

 

Stainless[1]

+54%

Wire North America

-11%

 

Fiber technologies

-1%

Wire Latin America

-1%

 

Combustion technologies

+18%

Wire Asia

+22%

 

Composites

-34%

Building products

+23%

 

 

 

Steel cord China

+49%

 

Advanced coatings

+1%

Steel cord others

-6%

 

Industrial coatings

+15%

Other advanced wire products

-3%

 

Specialized films

-8%



[1] Following the internal repositioning of its advanced materials’ activities, Bekaert is reporting on its activities in stainless as a separate activity platform within the advanced materials business segment as from 1 January 2007. Previously, stainless was part of wire Europe. The figures for 2006 have been restated accordingly.

 

Bekaert posted a significant sales increase in advanced wire products in the first quarter of 2007. With the acquisition of Cold Drawn Products Limited last year, Bekaert strengthened its position in specialized profile wires for offshore applications. The company recorded higher demand for wire products in Europe compared to the first quarter of 2006. In addition to the severely negative impact of currency movements, demand in North America was markedly lower. Sales growth in Latin America was offset completely by currency movements.

Bekaert registered an important sales increase for wire Asia compared to a relatively weak first quarter in 2006. The company achieved a strong performance for building products, benefiting from the exceptionally mild winter in most European countries.

Bekaert recorded sales growth of 49% for steel cord China, supported by the major investment program. Although the company registered an increased activity for steel cord products in Europe, the level of activity in North America was substantially lower. Sales were also adversely affected by substantial currency movements. Bekaert advanced its position in this market with the acquisition early 2006 of Delta Wire Corporation, a bead wire supplier in Mississippi (United States).

Bekaert posted a strong sales increase in advanced materials. Sales for stainless rose sharply, because of the strong increase in raw material prices for nickel-based wire rod qualities. Compared with the exceptionally strong first quarter of 2006, the company recorded no sales growth in fiber technologies. Bekaert consolidated its position in combustion technologies with the acquisition of the Dutch Aluheat B.V. in 2006.

In advanced coatings, Bekaert recorded limited growth. The company increased its project business in industrial coatings, but had a difficult start in specialized films, which faced a severe impact of currency movements.

The disposal of the handling business in 2006 also impacted on Bekaert’s combined sales in the first quarter of 2007.

Combined sales by geographical area

 

 

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