Bekaert: first half year 2017 results


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Bekaert achieves strong sales and profits
Bekaert achieved a 15% increase in consolidated revenue, reaching a record € 2 095 million in first half sales. The growth stemmed from strong organic sales (+6.5%), M&A (+6.5%) reflecting the incremental impact of the Bridon integration within the Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group, and favorable currency movements (+2%). 
Underlying EBIT increased 12% to € 176 million at a margin of 8.4%. 
The main factors contributing to the strong performance in the first half of 2017 were:
- firm demand from automotive, industrial steel wire and construction markets;
- a turn-around in profitability in North America;
- incremental benefits from the transformation programs which all focus on creating value.
The margin was slightly down from 8.6% in the first half of 2016 due to:
- the incorporation of the Bridon activities in Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group at lower than average margins;
- increased difficulty in passing on wire rod price increases to customers;
- a deterioration of Latin American markets due to political and economic instability;
- tailing off demand in various markets at the end of the second quarter due to stock reduction actions.
Key Financials

- Consolidated sales of € 2.1 billion (+15%) and combined  sales of € 2.4 billion (+14%)
- Currency impact: € +36 million (+2%) on consolidated sales; € +97 million (+5%) on combined sales
- Underlying gross profit of € 382 million (18% margin) compared with € 347 million (19% margin)
- Underlying EBIT of € 176 million (8.4% margin) compared with € 157 million (8.6% margin)
- EBIT of € 197 million (9.4% margin) compared with € 143 million (7.9% margin)
- Underlying EBITDA of € 277 million (13.2% margin) compared with € 259 million (14.2% margin)
- EBITDA of € 297 million (14.2% margin) compared with € 242 million (13.3% margin)
- Underlying ROCE of 13.1% compared with 12.7% and ROCE of 14.6% compared with 11.6% 
- Net debt of € 1 230 million. Net debt on underlying EBITDA was 2.2, unchanged from the same period last year and slightly up from 2.1 at year-end 2016

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