Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group

Bekaert combined sales by sector BBRG
Combined sales: € 319 million
Capital expenditures (PP&E): € 14 million
Total assets: € 613 million
Employees: 2 514

Economic environment in 2016

Most ropes markets continued to be depressed in 2016. This applied to the oil & gas sector and to mining markets, although the latter started to show signs of demand pick-up at the end of 2016, supported by increased commodity prices.

Other markets relevant for the ropes business are – amongst others – the equipment sector (crane and hoisting), forestry and fishing, and construction markets.

Our activity performance

Bekaert achieved 34% sales growth in the ropes and advanced cords segment as a result of the integration of the Bridon activities in the Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group. Depressed market conditions in the oil & gas sector affected the sales volumes and the overall capacity utilization in most ropes plants. Ropes volumes picked up modestly in the fourth quarter and the advanced cords business performed well throughout the year.

The management of BBRG is implementing actions to strengthen its market position and gradually leverage the benefits of its increased scale through improvements in the manufacturing footprint and the global business portfolio. This includes the closure of the Bridon-Bekaert ScanRope AS manufacturing plant in Tønsberg (Norway) and the realignment measures at the Belton facility in Texas (US).

Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group begins business

Bekaert and Ontario Teachers’, the previous owner of Bridon, successfully closed the definitive merger of their ropes and advanced cords businesses on 28 June 2016 and established a joint venture in which Bekaert holds 67% and Ontario Teachers’ 33%. Bridon-Bekaert Ropes Group combines the ropes and advanced cords capabilities of approximately 2 500 employees, 18 manufacturing entities across 10 countries, market-focused R&D, and a global sales and services network. The combination of the businesses will leverage the scale and complementary strengths of Bekaert and Bridon and will pursue value creation for customers and for the new group.

Despite the prevailing difficult market and business conditions for ropes, the Board of Directors and the Management team of BBRG strongly believe in the future potential of the merged business. BBRG is taking actions to leverage its competencies and scale, improve the profitability of the business, and serve its customers around the world with unmatched quality and service. 

Global transformation at BBRG

The success of the Bekaert Manufacturing System (BMS) has not gone unnoticed to the ropes business. Therefore BBRG will kick off BBMS (Bridon-Bekaert Manufacturing System) in early 2017 to enable similar benefits in the plants within the business.