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Glaverbel says first-half 2000 results “excellent”

Belgian glassmaker Glaverbel will post “downright excellent” results for the first half of 2000 and expects a significant improvement in results for the whole year, its chief executive said recently.

Belgian glassmaker Glaverbel will post “downright excellent” results for the first half of 2000 and expects a significant improvement in results for the whole year, its chief executive said recently. “While of course we must not forget that our industry remains extremely competitive and cyclic, I think I may safely confirm the forecast of a continuous, significant and structural improvement in our results for this year,” company chairman Luc Willame said in a prepared speech to shareholders at the company“s annual meeting. “In short, this should be an excellent year for making a really good start to the new millennium.” No precise figures for the first half were given, however. Willame said the company“s building division was profiting from a “significant” rise in sales and a rise in prices of raw glass. He said that despite the start-up of two new float plants in Europe, demand and prices were holding up well. Glaverbel“s float plant in Sagunto, Spain, has reached full production but despite the additional output, demand was still not being met, so the company planned to construct a 15th float line, most likely in Belgium, Willame said. “It should be operational towards the end of 2001, helping to match the group“s capacity to the expected growth in glass consumption in the next years.” A slowdown in demand for glass in the company“s automotive division is expected in the second half of 2000, due mainly to restructuring at Rover and some Japanese carmakers, but this was expected to be offset by productivity gains, Willame said. “The Industries division has continued to enjoy growth in its results, buoyed up by the high volume of activities in mirrors and industrial products, together with the favourable rate of the dollar,” Willame said. Glaverbel posted group net profit of Euros 25.2 million in 1999, down from Euros 41.4 million the previous year. Turnover in 1999 was Euros 1.5 billion. In April, the company reported first quarter sales rose 13.6% to Euros 407 million and said it expected its operating result to rise significantly in 2000.

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