Jan - June - Bekaert Annual Report 2011

The year in brief

Jan - June


On 20 January, Bert De Graeve, CEO of Bekaert, is honored with the Shanghai Honorable Citizenship award, the highest award acknowledging extraordinary contributions made by foreign individuals to the city of Shanghai. Mayor Han Zheng refers to Bert De Graeve as ‘an old friend of Shanghai’. He also recognizes Bekaert for displaying its corporate citizenship by supporting the city, not only in terms of economic growth, but also by actively participating in the community.


Bekaert’s 2010 annual results show exceptional growth. Bekaert was able to respond fast to the opportunities that arose wherever a recovery from the global economic crisis set in or where markets grew substantially.

On 10 February, Bekaert’s finance team wins first prize in the contest Best Finance Team of 2010, category ‘large enterprises’, organized by CFO Magazine, the leading trade magazine for the CFO community in Belgium.


In March 2011, Bekaert hosts an international group of financial analysts in its plants in Hlohovec and Sládkovičovo (Slovakia). The purpose of the visit to Slovakia is to demonstrate that central Europe is a critically important market to Bekaert and give evidence of our operational excellence and resilience in successfully running both a 50-year old acquired plant and a greenfield plant.


On 28 April, Bekaert inaugurates its new engineering plant in Jiangyin (Jiangsu province, China). Bekaert's in-house engineering division designs, assembles and installs production machines and plant infrastructure for the Bekaert manufacturing units worldwide. As a result of Bekaert's strong organic growth, notably in Asia, the Bekaert China Technology & Engineering Center had outgrown its existing premises in Jiangyin.


On 12 May, Bekaert celebrates the opening of its new plant extension in Sládkovičovo (Slovakia). In response to growing demand and in view of the expected efficiency and flexibility gains, Bekaert decided to extend its production platform in Sládkovičovo with a half products manufacturing unit.

On 19 May, Bekaert grants the ‘Bekaert Rod Supplier Award China’ to Xingcheng Steel (Jiangyin, Jiangsu province, China), the Chinese supplier who has shown the greatest improvement in the quality of its wire rod supply – Bekaert’s most important raw material.

Wenji Zhang, General Manager of Xingcheng Special Steel Works Co., Ltd., and Bert De Graeve, CEO of Bekaert, at the ceremony ‘Bekaert Rod Supplier Award China’.

On 19 May, Ann Lambrechts, head R&D of building products at Bekaert, wins the European Inventor Award in the category Industry, issued by the European Patent Office for the development of Dramix® steel fibers for concrete reinforcement with flattened hook-shaped ends.


On 21 June, NYSE Euronext Liffe celebrates the launch of equity options on Bekaert.

July - Dec


Bekaert achieves solid financial results in the first half of 2011. However, in both the energy-related and automotive sectors, the company faces increased competitive capacities in China and large inventories throughout the supply chain.


Bekaert and Saint-Gobain sign the agreement regarding the sale of Bekaert's Specialty Films activities to Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation, an Ohio, US-based corporation of the Saint-Gobain group. Bekaert acquired the Specialty Films business in 2001 and developed it into a global market leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of window films and other specialty films. While the business continued to grow successfully, technological synergies within Bekaert had proven to be limited over time.


Bekaert closes an agreement with Hankuk Steel Wire Co. Ltd (South Korea) for the acquisition of the Qingdao Hansun steel wire plant in Qingdao (Shandong province, China), which produces steel wire products for a wide range of applications in sectors such as the construction business, the paper industry and mining. At the time of the acquisition the plant employed 220 people.

On 15 September, Bekaert celebrates the opening of its plant extension in Lipetsk (Russia). Bekaert has been present with steel cord manufacturing operations in Russia since the beginning of 2010 and has built a growing customer base in the region. The investment encompasses the construction of a new building covering 13 000 m², the installation of infrastructure and state-of-the-art machinery and the hiring and training of extra personnel.


Mr Bozhko, 1st Vice Governor of the Lipetsk region, Bekaert Chairman Baron Buysse and CEO Bert De Graeve, and local authorities open the new building.


Following the decision of the Board of Directors, Bekaert distributes a gross interim dividend of € 0.67 on 17 October 2011.

During a trade mission headed by His Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium, the Flanders-China Chamber of Commerce and the Chongqing chapter of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade jointly organize a Belgium-China Business Forum in Chongqing (China). The meeting is chaired by Baron Buysse, Honorary Citizen of Chongqing.

Baron Buysse, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bekaert, hosts the Belgium-China Business Forum.


Bekaert announces on 15 November the issue of a dual tranche bond. As a result of the major success of this issue, the subscription period is terminated early. The aggregate nominal amount of bonds issued on 6 December 2011 is fixed at € 400 million.


Bekaert and Xinyu Iron & Steel Co., Ltd (Xinsteel), a Xinyu-based (Jiangxi province, China) iron and steel company, announce the successful closing of their partnership transaction by which Bekaert acquires 50% of the spring wire and Aluclad activities of Xinsteel in Xinyu. These activities represent an annual turnover of approximately CNY 500 million.

Bekaert and its Chilean partners sign an agreement to restructure the shareholding of their joint venture operations in Chile, Peru and Canada. As a consequence, Bekaert becomes the principal shareholder (52%) in the partnership and will consolidate the results of all respective entities as of 2012 in the Group's financial statements. Bekaert’s presence in Chile dates back to 1950 with the start of a joint-venture with the families Matetic and Conrads, Bekaert’s partners for more than 60 years.

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