Bekaert announced on Friday that it recorded a consolidated turnover of €2,095 billion in the first six months of 2017. This is an increase of 15% on the like-for-like 2016 figures, and a record for the company.
The company specialises in steel-wire production and explains this increase by its organic growth (up by 6.5%), mergers and acquisitions (+6.5%) and favourable currency movements (up 2%). These have increased the consolidated turnover by €36 million and the overall turnover by €97 million.
Underlying Earnings before interest and taxes (or EBIT) reached €176 million (up by 12%), with an 8.4% margin.
The company, based in Courtrai, explains its excellent results by sustained demand in key sectors, these being the car industry, industrial steel wire and construction. The upturn in profitability in North America and strong overall performance of transformation programmes were also cited.
Based upon these facts, the Bekaert management is maintaining its predictions for 2017. The excellent growth perspectives in the automobile sector, as well as expansion and production capacity-linked investments should also produce results for the group.
Amongst prudence factors, Bekaert cites the rapid development of raw material prices, and the absence of signs of improvement on the oil and gas market in the short term. The group also flags up the challenging operating environment in Latin America, the uncertainties hanging over American trade policies and the development of the Chinese solar market as points influencing its business strategy.