August 1, 2014 - Bekaert delivers solid volume growth and results in the first half of 2014. Bekaert achieved 4% volume growth and also increased profitability in the first half of 2014. While adverse currency fluctuations continued to impact the company's top-line significantly, Bekaert enhanced its profitability as a result of the sustained effects of cost savings and of an improved product mix.
- Consolidated sales of €1.61 billion (-2.4%) and combined sales of €2.02 billion (-5.4%)
- Currency impact : €-85 million (-5.1%) on consolidated sales and €-158 million (-7.4%) on combined sales
- Gross profit of €258 million (16.0% margin) compared with €249 million (15.1% margin)
- REBIT of €101 million (6.3% margin) compared with €91 million (5.5% margin)
- Non-recurring items of €+16.6 million compared with €-2.3 million
- EBIT of €118 million (7.3% margin) compared with €89 million (5.4% margin)
- EBITDA of €190 million (11.8% margin) compared with €172 million (10.4% margin)
- EPS: €1.34 compared with €0.45
- Net debt of €673 million, versus €770 million as at 30 June 2013 and €574 million as at year-end 2013
- The European Commission has approved in July 2014 the acquisition by Bekaert of Pirelli's steel cord activities (additional merger control procedures are in process in Turkey and Brazil). The Commission also has approved Bekaert's sales and distribution joint venture with Maccaferri.
There were strong differences in market performance between regions in the first half of 2014. The company's activities in Europe and Asia achieved good volume growth. The EMEA region delivered excellent results driven by strong demand and regained competitiveness, while the rubber reinforcement platform in China defended its market share in a highly competitive market. Bekaert also managed to maintain its market positions in Latin America but was affected by the economic downturn in the region, and by fiscal and political instability in several countries. The climate remained difficult for domestic industries in North America, but picked up modestly in the second quarter of the year.