Bekaert increased its Q1 2021 consolidated sales by 19pc to €1.1bn and combined sales by 23pc to €1.3bn against the same year-ago quarter.
Of the total sales rubber reinforcement comprised 44pc, steel wire solutions 37pc, BBRG cords constituted 10pc, and specialty businesses 9pc. Rubber reinforcement and steel wire solutions grew by 23pc and 22pc in Q1 2021, respectively, against the same quarter in 2020.
The company attributes its strength to a rebound in global demand, and strong momentum in Asia, Latin America, MENA, and India. Volumes shipped grew by 14pc in Q1 2021 compared to the same year-ago quarter. Markets were supported by emerging dynamics coupled with stimulus programs. The company expects a continued strong 2021 but will provide mid-term guidance later in May.
Bekaert saw growth in the steel wire and building products divisions. The elevator market also encountered demand for steel ropes.
In Colombia, the merger deal between Proalco SAS (a subsidiary of Bekaert in Colombia) and Almasa SA announced in September last year, was approved by the Colombian authorities in mid-April 2021. Proalco achieved €55mn in revenue in 2020 and will grow by 40pc with the merger.
Bekaert acquired Mitchell Industries in Indiana (US) and will integrate it within Bekaert Steel Wire Solutions US. Mitchell specializes in high-value-added steel wire strands for power and utility applications and achieved sales of $3mn in 2020.
The Bekaert Van Buren plant in Arkansas (US) is undergoing a capacity expansion, which will enable the company to grow in the US energy and telecommunications markets.