During the Capital Markets Day of 28 May 2021, Bekaert has communicated the company’s strategy for the next five years.
Our strategy is aimed at creating sustainable value for all our stakeholders: shareholders, customers and other business partners, employees, and the broader communities where we are active. Read more about our stakeholders and the value creation impact of our strategy in this Value Creation chapter.
We are determined to implement this strategy with passion and focus and are convinced it will enable us to drive sustainable value creation.
The megatrends of new mobility, renewable energy, urbanization, smart connectivity, reverse globalization, and sustainability are viewed as opportunities for Bekaert to differentiate and grow.
We are therefore leveraging our position to capture those opportunities:
Strong on execution, we made good progress in improving our strategic market position and business portfolio.
Sales increased to the highest level in the history of Bekaert and the sales growth was driven by value adding business opportunities and pricing discipline, which resulted in robust margin performance of all four business units.
Leveraging on our global presence with dedicated local services, we secured supply chain excellence to ensure delivery continuity to customers worldwide, despite the global impact of supply chain disruptions.
Continued effective working capital and strict cost control drove a strong cash generation and fast and significant debt deleveraging.
We accelerated our commercial and manufacturing excellence programs to serve customers better, to improve our go-to-market strategy, and to enhance the quality and efficiency of our processes.
The digitalization of our business processes and the expansion of our digital offering are ongoing and will be accelerated.
We established a long-term sustainability strategy aimed at raising our ambitions and delivering upon the decarbonization targets that we commit to.
We are raising our investments in research and innovation to strengthen our technology leadership in our core markets and to develop new capabilities beyond our current field of play.
Our volumes rebounded above pre-Covid-19 levels in 2021 despite the relatively low expansion investments in the past years and some footprint adjustments implemented to exit commodity markets.
We have been exploring opportunities for growth, both in existing and adjacent markets, with strict criteria to add significant accretive growth.
2021 did not mark bold merger and acquisition deals but focused on tactical acquisitions and partnerships to build a growing presence in offshore wind, utilities, digital monitoring expertise, and green hydrogen technologies. Further growth will be supported by a higher level of expansion investments as of 2022 onwards and by partnerships and inorganic growth opportunities that will allow us to expand a position in promising target markets.