Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific/China

Bekaert Asia Pacific figures_2013 

Combined sales: € 1 001 million
Consolidated sales(*): € 953 million
Capital expenditures (PP&E)(*): € 47 million
Total assets(*): € 1 221 million
Employees: 11 200
(*) Consolidated entities

China

China’s GDP growth in 2013 was 7.7%, in line with 2012. While this rate is still far stronger than that of other economic powers and the global average, the abrupt decline from the double digit rates of the previous decade has made business conditions in China more difficult. The global economic crisis of the past years has tempered China’s export growth. Combined with a maturing domestic demand in certain sectors, this led to manufacturing overcapacity and fierce competition in several industrial markets.

Bekaert’s activities serving automotive markets in China achieved significant organic volume growth as a result of demand pick-up in the Chinese tire sector and by seizing growth opportunities in other steel wire solutions serving car and truck manufacturers in the country.

As part of its global growth strategy in bead wire for tires, Bekaert has expanded its related production capacity in Jiangyin (Jiangsu Province). Bekaert’s technological breakthrough in ternary alloy coating on steel cord, developed and extensively tested in the Group’s Technology Centers, was rolled out to our manufacturing platform in China, and has proven successful in various aspects. It helps tire makers to make their processes cleaner as it eliminates the need to add cobalt to the rubber compound. The current lab and field tests have proven to offer promising prospects in the tire markets.

Bekaert’s engineering plant in Jiangyin (Jiangsu Province), was able to significantly raise its activity level in the second half of 2013, as a result of Bekaert’s expansion investments in Dramix® and bead wire manufacturing.

The integration of the joint venture activities within the partnership with Xinyu Iron & Steel Co. Ltd (Xinsteel) in Xinyu (Jiangxi Province) has taken more time and effort than anticipated due to inefficiencies, the complexity of the platform, and unfavorable market conditions. Improvements are expected with the move to the newly constructed plant, Bekaert (Xinyu) New Materials Co., Ltd, which will house the spring wire manufacturing activities that were previously located in two separate factories.

Bekaert Xinyu New Materials

The new spring wire plant in Xinyu will primarily serve domestic customers, producing spring wires for various applications.

South-East Asia and India

South-East Asia

The ASEAN economies have shown resilient growth in recent years, supported by strong domestic consumption and investment. South-East Asia has therefore become an established emerging region, with differences between the individual countries.

Domestic demand in Indonesia was strong, particularly for the automotive sector. Bekaert’s rubber reinforcement activities in Indonesia achieved solid volume growth on the wave of increased demand for tire cord. The building products platform also reported solid growth. Bekaert’s activities faced margin erosion though, as a result of significant cost inflation and increased competition in the region.

The Malaysian activities, part of the partnership established in 2012 with Southern Steel, added to consolidated sales. The integration process is ongoing and focuses on turning the platform’s performance in line with the Bekaert standards and profit objectives.

On 3 December 2013, Bekaert sold its filtration activities to the American Clarcor group, based in Franklin, Tennessee. The small business activities included a production facility in Karawang, Indonesia, as well as a production plant in Sprimont, Belgium, and a global sales network.

India

Domestic growth continued to be soft in India during 2013. Moreover, subdued global demand affected the export potential of the country’s manufacturing industry. India’s automotive market ended 2013 with a significant decline, the first in more than a decade.

Bekaert’s activities achieved volume growth in its markets but saw margins decrease as a result of a weakening product mix and of competitive imports and increased energy prices.

The company’s export-driven activities in India operated in a market context of weak global demand.

In order to align with growing demand for Bekaert’s Dramix® steel fibers for concrete reinforcement, Bekaert invested in production capacity in its manufacturing platform in Lonand.

Bekaert_Dramix_India2013 

The Dramix® line in Lonand, India, became operational in early 2014 and will accommodate demand from domestic and export markets.


Post balance sheet: Bekaert raised its stake in Bekaert Mukand Wire Industries Pvt Ltd in Lonand from 94% as at year-end 2013 to 100% at the beginning of 2014. The plant produces stainless steel wire and Dramix® steel fibers.

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