N.V. Bekaert S.A. Business Report FY2011

Business Highlights

Financial Overview

(in million euro)
  FY2011 FY2010 Rate of change(%) Factors
Sales 3,339 3,262 2.4 1)
EBITDA 475 724 (34.4) -

-Consolidated sales in 2011 increased by 2.4%. Solid volumes in nearly all activity platforms except for sawing wire, drove an organic consolidated sales growth of 5.1%. The net impact of acquisitions and divestments (-1.1%) and fluctuations in exchange rates (-1.6%) had an adverse effect on the sales growth.


-The Company announced that it will acquire 52 percent of the shares in Inchalam SA, a Chile-based wire manufacturer. With this transaction, the Company's annual consolidated sales are expected to increase by approximately 300 million euros. The transaction is scheduled to be closed in the first quarter of 2012. (From a press release on December 22, 2011)

-The Company and Xinyu Iron & Steel Co., Ltd (Xinsteel), a Xinyu-based (Jiangxi province, China) iron and steel company, announced the closing of their partnership transaction by which Bekaert acquires 50% of the spring wire and Aluclad (aluminium clad) activities of Xinsteel. These activities represent an annual turnover of approximately 500 million Chinese yuan (approximately 60 million euros). The partnership includes: two manufacturing plants in Xinyu which produce mainly spring wires for the automotive and motorcycle sectors; and the Aluclad wire and strand production unit in Xinyu. The purchase price is 107 million Chinese yuan (approximately 13 million euros). (From a press release on December 15, 2011)

Business Partnership

-The Company and American Spring Wire (ASW), an Ohio, U.S.-based manufacturer of valve spring quality (VSQ) wires, jointly announced that they will work together to supply engine VSQ wires to Asian markets. In September 2011, the companies entered into a Definitive License Agreement establishing the terms of a technology transfer to the Company's Jiangyin wire plant located in China's Jiangsu Province. ASW will provide the Company technical assistance in the design and installation of equipment, as well as process knowledge and commercial support to develop the VSQ wire markets throughout Asia, China and India in particular. In addition, it establishes ASW as the Company's representative for VSQ wires sold in North America. Both partners believe the new capacity will start production of coils in the course of the second half of 2012. (From a press release on October 10, 2011)


-The Company and Saint-Gobain Sekurit France S.A.S. have signed an agreement regarding the sale of Bekaert's Specialty Films activities, Solar Gard Specialty Films, to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastic Corporation, an Ohio, U.S.-based corporation of the Saint-Gobain group. The purchase price is estimated to be approximately 10 million euros. The transaction covers the production facilities in San Diego (U.S.), Zulte (Belgium) and Suzhou (Jiangsu Province, China), the operations under development in China, and all sales and service centers worldwide. The companies expect to close the deal in the course of 2011. Solar Gard Specialty Films develops, manufactures and distributes window films and other specialty films for automotive and other markets. (From a press release on August 10, 2011)


R&D Expenditure

(in million euro)
  FY2011 FY2010 FY2009
Total 90 79 63

R&D Structure

-The Compan's global technology platform consists of 2 main Technology Centers in Deerlijk (Belgium) and Jiangyin (Jiansu province, China).

-In Apr. 2010, the Company opened its Asia Research and Development Center in Jiangyin, Jiangsu Province, China. The facility is the second R&D Center of Bekaert in the world, next to the Technology Center in Belgium.

-In Mar. 2010, the Company opened its technical center, located in Ranjangaon near Pune in India. The company operates three local plants in Pune, Ranjangaon and Lonand, where steel cord for tire reinforcement and steel wire products are produced for the Indian automotive market.

Product Development

-In 2011 the Company further improved its super, ultra and next generation tensile tire cord products. By producing finer cords that offer equal strength, the Company is responding to the trend for lower weight and lower rolling resistance, thereby increasing fuel efficiency. This combination of lighter and stronger wires also distinguishes its product offering in other markets, such as rope wire for crane ropes and mooring lines.

Investment Activities

Capital Expenditure

(in million euro)
  FY2011 FY2010 FY2009
Overall 278 230 158

Investments Outside Belgium

-The Company announced the opening of its plant extension in Lipetsk, Russia. The Company has been present with steel cord manufacturing operations in Russia since the beginning of 2010. The investment encompassed the construction of a new building covering 13,000 square meters. The plant currently employs close to 200 employees and plans additional recruitments in line with the growth. (From a press release on September 15, 2011)

-The Company inaugurated its new plant expansion in Sladkovicovo, Slovakia. The investment encompassed the construction of a new building covering 30,000 square meters, doubling the plant's original size. 100 extra employees were hired in the past months to operate in the new plant extension. The company has two manufacturing facilities in Slovakia: Hlohovec and Sladkovicovo. (From a press release on May 12, 2011)