Simulation Assurance santé – Transcription modifiée de la conférence téléphonique ou de la présentation sur les résultats de BEKB.BR 31-juil.-20 12h00 GMT


Bruxelles 1 août 2020 (Thomson StreetEvents) – Transcription éditée de la conférence téléphonique ou de la présentation des résultats de NV Bekaert SA Vendredi 31 juillet 2020 à 12 h 00 GMT

Kempen & Co. N.V., Division de la recherche – Analyste de la recherche

* Martijn P. den Drijver

Bonjour à tous et bienvenue à ce webcast. Merci beaucoup pour votre participation et votre intérêt pour Bekaert. Taoufiq et moi avons le plaisir de partager avec vous les résultats Bekaert du premier semestre. Et les circonstances actuelles ne nous permettent toujours pas d’organiser des réunions et des conférences en direct. Par conséquent, Taoufiq et moi allons faire une webémission à partir de notre siège social respectif, comme vous le faites peut-être aussi, et vous appelez à partir de là.

Au cours des dernières semaines et mois, nous avons appris à travailler différemment et à gérer l’incertitude. Aujourd’hui, nous savons que cette crise, qui n’est pas seulement une crise sanitaire, mais aussi une crise économique et sociale, laissera ses empreintes dans notre mode de vie et notre façon de travailler à l’avenir. Et il laissera définitivement sa marque sur les entreprises et les économies. Je suis convaincu que les 2 caractéristiques de cette crise resteront dans la nouvelle normalité, et c’est l’imprévisibilité et l’ambiguïté pour le moment à venir.

Mais avant d’aller au [raw] résultats, je tiens à vous remercier pour votre intérêt et votre participation, mais aussi à remercier nos clients pour leur grande coopération et leur confiance dans cet environnement difficile dans notre entreprise, et surtout exprimer ma gratitude aux 28000 membres de l’équipe de Bekaert dans le monde. Ils ont démontré d’une manière incroyable le vrai sens de mieux ensemble au cours des derniers mois. Leur engagement et leur résilience nous ont rendus forts en tant qu’équipe et en tant qu’entreprise, et l’impact de leurs efforts est visible dans les résultats que nous annonçons aujourd’hui.

Alors laissez-moi vous expliquer les faits saillants. Le titre du communiqué de presse montre que nous sommes – nous sommes actuellement aux côtés de Bekaert. Bekaert a contré un impact significatif du COVID-19 pour des mesures d’atténuation efficaces et des améliorations de performance. Et ce qui est vraiment remarquable le redressement des solutions de fil d’acier et aussi du groupe Bridon-Bekaert Ropes et plus d’efficacité, en utilisant les actions, ils ont modéré l’impact de COVID-19, l’activité de renfort en caoutchouc souffrait du développement automobile.

Voyons donc l’impact du COVID-19 sur notre marché, sur nos ventes. Et comment avons-nous géré cela? Quelle a été notre réponse à cela? Quand on regarde les différents marchés, je pense que tout le monde le sait, on a vu au fil du temps que la demande des marchés du pneu et de l’automobile a été très touchée, d’abord en Chine, puis rapidement suivie dans le reste du monde. Nous avons vu des équipementiers fermer des usines ainsi que les fabricants de pneus. Et il n’y avait presque pas de kilomètres parcourus parce que nous travaillions tous à domicile et n’utilisions pas les voitures. La production mondiale de camions automobiles a chuté de moins 30% au cours du premier semestre et la demande mondiale de pneus de moins 40% en moyenne au deuxième trimestre. Et le point le plus bas, qui était [mainly] l’un des pires mois que nous ayons vu, c’était en avril.

Quand on regarde les marchés des infrastructures de construction, en comparaison, ils ont relativement bien résisté au premier trimestre 2020, mais ont été contraints par des verrouillages au deuxième trimestre et ont conduit à une demande de réduction jusqu’à moins 20% pour le trimestre, et il dépendait des régions où vous regardez.

D’un autre côté, nous avons vu, en particulier en Chine, que des programmes de relance ont commencé – ont contribué à stimuler les investissements dans les infrastructures là-bas.

Le premier segment dans lequel nous exerçons nos activités était le service public agricole et les marchés miniers. Et ici aussi, en contradiction avec la chute profonde et durement touchée dans l’automobile, nous avons trouvé le reste [red] solide tout au long du premier semestre et seulement jusqu’à moins 10% d’impact. Et donc cela semble être actuellement moins affecté par la pandémie COVID-19. Et cela est également dû au fait qu’ils sont généralement considérés parfois comme des industries essentielles. Nous voyons donc des dynamiques différentes dans les différents secteurs et régions. Mais comment cela s’est traduit dans nos ventes, avec une diapositive sur la page suivante.

Quand on regarde ici, on constate que le chiffre d’affaires global par rapport au premier semestre 2019, où les revenus étaient de 2,2 milliards d’euros, chutant à 1,77 milliard d’euros. C’est une baisse significative de moins 20%. L’activité Renfort caoutchouc a été la plus touchée. Les ventes sont inférieures de 300 millions d’euros à celles du premier semestre, soit 30% par rapport à l’année dernière. Steel Wire Solutions a enregistré une baisse des ventes de moins 15%. Et une partie de cela a également été motivée par nos propres décisions de fermer certaines de ces usines déficitaires. Entreprise spécialisée (sic) [Specialty Businesses] a connu une demande plus faible au deuxième trimestre et a entraîné une baisse des revenus de moins 9%. Enfin, BBRG a enregistré une baisse des ventes de moins 6%, et que la majeure partie de cela était le résultat de la réduction de notre présence dans les applications à faible marge, ce qui a entraîné une baisse du chiffre d’affaires de 20%.

Et vous voyez également la répartition de notre activité avec les différentes unités d’affaires: Rubber Reinforcement, toujours la plupart en ligne uniquement, a répertorié 40% des parts de revenus; 36% sont couverts par les Steel Wire Solutions; 10% par les entreprises spécialisées (sic) les entreprises spécialisées; et les 13% restent avec le BBRG.

Alors, comment avons-nous réagi à l’ampleur de la baisse des ventes? Nous nous concentrions sur 5 domaines. Bien entendu, la priorité absolue (inaudible) était la santé et la sécurité. Comment pouvons-nous nous assurer que nos employés sont en sécurité au travail lorsqu’ils viennent le matin et qu’ils repartent également en sécurité et en bonne santé le soir? Nous avons pris des mesures rigoureuses pour limiter les risques d’infection. Nous avons fourni des masques, des désinfectants. Nous avons demandé une distanciation sociale dans les usines et les bureaux. Nous avons créé beaucoup de sensibilisation parmi les membres de l’équipe et leurs familles. Et comme vous le savez tous, nous avons commencé assez tôt à travailler d’une manière différente, autant que possible à domicile. Et je voudrais également vous remercier parce que ce déploiement de toutes les mesures de santé et de sécurité n’aurait pas été possible si nous n’avions pas l’unité des efforts en tant que base mondiale pour assurer la sécurité de nos populations.

Le deuxième objectif était, bien sûr, les clients. En période de turbulence – et aussi les clients sont confrontés à tous ces problèmes. Il était très important que nous soyons proches d’eux, que nous comprenions leurs besoins. Ils étaient également confrontés, bien entendu, à toutes ces imprévisibilités, à toutes ces incertitudes. Et c’est une communication étroite, et ils ne s’assurent pas qu’ils ne souffrent d’aucune interruption d’approvisionnement sans [the key] priorité sur celui-ci. Nous utilisons d’autres outils et pratiques numériques comme les portails pour continuer à avoir le contact avec le client en ces temps.

Le prochain objectif, la liquidité et le coût. Et Taoufiq entrera beaucoup plus dans les détails dans celui-ci. Mais c’était vraiment [different]. La nécessité d’avoir un contrôle strict sur le fonds de roulement et de nous assurer que nous n’avons pas de créances irrécouvrables, que nous faisons le recouvrement de trésorerie, nous travaillons rigoureusement sur le CapEx et le contrôle des coûts et la flexion des coûts fixes, et s’assurer que nous avons un cash flow positif et une forte liquidité. Et vous verrez beaucoup plus de détails, comme mentionné, avec Taoufiq. Je pense qu’un excellent travail a été fait ici aussi.

Quand nous regardons le quatrième objectif que nous voyons, nous avons couvert la restauration des bénéfices. Et ici, le retournement et l’accélération du retournement de SWS et BBRG ont été les plus élevés. Ils n’ont pas seulement accéléré le redressement, mais ils ont également rendu possible une solide amélioration du mix d’activités et de sa marge. De plus, ils ont vraiment mis en œuvre des actions d’atténuation très puissantes et percutantes pour soutenir ce revirement.

Dernier point mais non le moindre, la chaîne d’approvisionnement, bien sûr, d’une importance cruciale. D’une part pour s’assurer qu’il n’y a pas d’interruption, que nous avons également tous les produits critiques. Et nous pouvons [affordable] même si la production était limitée, mais tout était là pour servir les clients. De l’autre côté, il fallait aussi travailler très étroitement avec les ventes lorsque le marché est en baisse, la demande diminue, mais on ne se surstocke pas pour faire un très bon [SNOP] Planification. De plus, nous avons mis en place une campagne de fournisseurs virtuels afin de renégocier avec nos fournisseurs certains des produits que nous achetons.

Donc dans l’ensemble, nous avons commencé très tôt à avoir une gouvernance et une coordination assez efficaces pour aligner nos décisions et gérer activement la crise. La communication était importante et j’ai eu la chance de participer à plusieurs de nos [PLF] appels, dans les appels à travers la région, mais aussi, par exemple, de leurs services commerciaux. Le dernier sujet sur lequel nous travaillons est de sortir plus fort de la crise. Et j’ai vu de très bons exemples où nous pourrions saisir des opportunités chez nos concurrents afin de renforcer notre activité et également d’anticiper les risques qu’ils courent, sans oublier de saisir les opportunités. Des efforts énormes de partout. Nous avons appris à travailler différemment. Et je pense que je voudrais maintenant dire quel est le résultat? Et j’en suis très fier, ce que je peux annoncer maintenant.

Et permettez-moi est tôt pour vous donner maintenant les faits saillants. Mais l’impact de nos mesures se traduit par les chiffres. Malgré une baisse du chiffre d’affaires de moins 20%, nous pourrions dégager une solide marge EBIT sous-jacente de 5,2%. Par rapport à l’année dernière, il était de 5,7% pour le premier semestre.

Nous avons été en mesure d’obtenir une amélioration robuste des performances, comme mentionné précédemment, dans le redressement et l’accélération du redressement pour SWS et BBRG. Nous continuons d’obtenir des résultats solides dans le secteur des spécialités. Mais bien sûr, ce que nous avons vu, selon le marché automobile, RR a été significativement affecté en moins de revenus. Mais nous avons très bien réussi à réduire les coûts et le fonds de roulement et avons agi très rapidement pour compenser la partie de l’impact de la pandémie. Dans le même temps, nous avons pu, dans de nombreux domaines, renforcer le mix d’activités. Et enfin, nous avons atteint un niveau de liquidité très élevé, à hauteur de 834 millions d’euros de trésorerie disponible, et c’est un doublement par rapport aux niveaux du 30 juin de l’année dernière. L’endettement a été de 2,5x l’EBITDA sous-jacent, légèrement en dessous du premier semestre 2019, qui était de 2,6x.

En résumant, il était vraiment clair que la forte baisse des ventes de moins 20% était toujours le résultat d’un EBIT sous-jacent de 5,2%, maintenant des mesures solides en matière de coût, de CapEx et de fonds de roulement, augmentant encore le mix d’activités plus fort et assurant la liquidité. . C’est là que nous pourrions en quelque sorte affecter le second – le premier semestre de cette année. Et maintenant, je voudrais passer la parole à Taoufiq, qui ira beaucoup plus dans les détails pour vous donner beaucoup plus de perspicacité. S’il vous plaît, Taoufiq.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – Directeur financier [2]

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Merci, Oswald. Bonjour à tous. Je vais commencer par parler des KPI (inaudibles) [positive thing] puis je me concentrerai sur la performance (inaudible) – la performance financière.

Lorsque nous examinons les points forts avec une certaine mesure de la performance fournie, je pense que ce qui est frappant, c’est quelque chose qu’Oswald a déjà mentionné. C’est la baisse significative que nous avons obtenue en termes de ventes. Donc 20% de moins et cela a évidemment un impact direct sur tous les autres KPI. Donc, quand on regarde les ventes en particulier, une baisse de 20%. Globalement, 80% est une croissance organique, qui résulte du ralentissement du marché et du segment clés. Et l’équilibre est fait du prix du fil machine, qui a été répercuté sur les clients et aussi sur les améliorations apportées – les améliorations qui ont été apportées en termes de prix et de mix.

Du point de vue du marché, nous avons constaté que la demande de pneus était en baisse de 25% en Chine, 30% dans la zone EMEA et 40% en Amérique du Nord. Donc comme vous pouvez le constater, baisse très importante de la demande. Oswald en a déjà parlé, mais la construction a été principalement impactée par l’hibernation du projet et les verrouillages, sauf en Chine. L’agriculture, les services publics et les mines ont été, dans une certaine mesure, les segments les moins touchés.

Quand vous regardez l’EBITDA et l’EBIT-U, donc évidemment, vous voyez une baisse en valeur absolue. Ceci est cohérent avec la baisse de volume dont nous avons souffert. Mais nous constatons également une amélioration en termes de pourcentage pour chacun de ces KPI. Donc, juste pour vous donner un exemple, la marge brute s’est améliorée de 40 points de base par rapport à l’an dernier à 14,3%, ce qui est une performance assez solide. On voit que l’EBIT-U se stabilise à 5,2%, en baisse par rapport à l’an dernier. Mais compte tenu de la baisse massive dont nous avons souffert, nous considérons toujours ce niveau de performance comme très solide. Et lorsque vous regardez l’EBITDA-U, nous constatons une amélioration de [20] points de base, qui traduit en fait tous les bons efforts que nous avons fournis pour stabiliser notre niveau de performance.

Donc, cela n’est pas venu par magie. C’était le résultat de nombreuses actions auxquelles Oswald a fait allusion. Je vais essayer de quantifier certains d’entre eux. Mais pour mettre les choses en perspective, nous avons réussi à fournir 100 millions d’euros de mesures efficaces pour compenser la crise. Il s’agit donc d’un mélange d’économies de coûts et de progrès en termes de redressement de certaines de nos activités comme BBRG et Steel Wire Solutions. Cela a livré un [EUR 13 million] impact positif. Nous avons également évoqué les améliorations apportées en termes de prix et de mix. C’est une autre contribution de 17 millions d’euros. Et nous avons également évoqué toutes les actions qui ont été mises en œuvre en termes d’atténuation de l’impact de la crise. Et cela représente une amélioration supplémentaire de 50 millions d’euros de nos résultats. On y regarde le résultat consolidé et les chiffres clés. J’ai donc déjà expliqué où nous en sommes en termes de ventes pour une baisse de 20%. Je ne m’étendrai pas davantage là-dessus.

Nous passons directement à la marge brute et à la manière dont nous avons atteint ce niveau de performance. Ce que nous constatons, c’est que la marge brute a diminué d’environ 57 millions d’euros, ce qui représente une baisse de 18,3% par rapport à la même période de l’année dernière. C’est un impact direct du coût défavorable des ventes et de l’impact sur la marge de la diminution significative du volume. Mais encore une fois, nous constatons une amélioration en termes de pourcentage, 40 points de base. Et cette amélioration en pourcentage est un signe très encourageant et une confirmation que nous avons pris les bonnes mesures pour atténuer la crise. Et c’est vraiment le travail d’une grande équipe de travail dans de nombreux domaines de l’entreprise. On se réfère donc déjà au (inaudible) à travers le mix livré par nos équipes commerciales. Les solides progrès en termes de redressement de notre activité et de mise en œuvre de notre plan de restauration des bénéfices, c’est-à-dire le leadership et toutes les équipes de toutes les BUs concernées. Et aussi les mesures d’atténuation pour le COVID-19, qui est vraiment un effort collectif dans toute l’entreprise.

Passons aux détails supplémentaires dans le compte de résultat. Je pense donc que lorsque vous regardez la répartition des différentes catégories de dépenses, nous constatons que les frais généraux ont diminué d’environ 26 millions d’euros. C’est donc le résultat du plein impact de la restructuration et des actions d’épargne structurelle, qui ont été mises en œuvre au second semestre en 2019. Cela équivaut à peu près à – [for EUR 8 million]. Et puis vous avez, en plus de cela, les mesures d’atténuation prises en réponse au COVID-19, qui ont ajouté ou qui totalisent 18 millions d’euros supplémentaires.

L’EBIT sous-jacent diminue de 34,5 millions d’euros à 91,5 millions d’euros. La marge EBIT sous-jacente sur les ventes à 5,2%. Donc une diminution relativement légère. C’est une diminution de 50 points de base à mettre en perspective, encore une fois, avec la baisse de 20% des ventes que nous avons eues tout au long du premier semestre. Et encore une fois, nous voyons ce niveau de performance comme un résultat encourageant.

Enfin, la marge d’EBITDA, qui s’améliore de 20 points de base à 11%.

Déplacement vers les ponts. Et je pense que ce pont raconte en quelque sorte l’histoire de la crise à laquelle nous avons dû faire face, l’impact qu’elle a eu sur nous et comment nous avons réussi à faire face aux différents impacts. Nous constatons donc que la baisse globale des volumes nous a impactés avec un impact négatif de 138 millions d’euros. Donc, sans rien faire, cela aurait complètement absorbé le niveau d’EBIT que nous avons généré comparativement à l’année dernière. Un impact si important provenant de la baisse du volume. Nous avons réussi à résoudre ce problème grâce à ce que nous avons déjà mentionné. Un ensemble d’actions de mitigation, qui ont dégagé 52 millions d’euros, se décomposant en impact positif en termes de coût des ventes et impact positif en termes de réduction de nos frais généraux.

Nous avons déjà fait référence au bon résultat en termes de commercial et à tous les progrès réalisés en termes de prix et de mix, soit une contribution de 17 millions d’euros. Et enfin, nous voyons un impact de 30 millions d’euros à la suite de la restructuration et des programmes d’économies qui ont été mis en œuvre. Donc une confirmation que les décisions que nous avons prises en fin d’année dernière et aussi en début d’année étaient les bonnes car elles nous avaient permis de nous donner une marge de manœuvre supplémentaire, et nous ont permis d’atténuer significativement la crise grâce à une capacité supplémentaire de faire preuve de résilience dans l’entreprise. Donc dans l’ensemble, un volume d’actions considérable. Malheureusement, pas assez pour absorber l’impact massif de la crise, qui s’élevait à 138 millions d’euros.

La diapositive suivante présente la même analyse, mais vous prenez du point de vue BU. Donc, ce que nous voyons, évidemment, c’est l’impact significatif de la crise sur l’activité Renfort caoutchouc. Je pense donc qu’il est important de mentionner ici que nous avons eu le point le plus bas en avril et que pendant ce point le plus bas en avril, à cause des verrouillages imposés par le gouvernement, nous avons dû fermer des usines pour notre – en Italie, en Turquie, en Roumanie, Espagne, Inde. Et aux États-Unis, nous n’avions tout simplement pas de demande car un nombre important de nos clients ont dû fermer leurs propres usines. Ce que vous pouvez également voir dans ce graphique, c’est la solide performance fournie par Steel Wire Solutions et BBRG. Ils ont significativement réussi à augmenter leur performance bénéficiaire, et on voit que l’activité de spécialité est à peu près stable, mais elle est stable par rapport à une performance déjà très forte délivrée l’an dernier et ce malgré la baisse de volume dont ils ont dû souffrir.

Passant à plus de détails sur les données financières de chacune de nos 4 BU, je commencerai par le renfort en caoutchouc. Il s’agit de la BU la plus touchée par une – touchée par la pandémie COVID-19. Le chiffre d’affaires consolidé s’est contracté de 30%. Cela s’est traduit par une baisse de 300 millions d’euros par rapport à l’année dernière. Les volumes ont diminué de 25%, à relativiser avec une baisse de 36% au deuxième trimestre seulement. Nous avons donc dû souffrir également de l’impact habituel résultant de la répercussion des variations de prix du fil machine et de l’autre effet prix / mix, qui a, dans une certaine mesure, compensé cette partie.

La contraction des volumes est le résultat de l’effondrement de la demande sur le marché des pneus et de l’automobile. Encore une fois, motivé par plusieurs verrouillages et fermetures de clients à travers le monde. Et la demande a été durement impactée. Et comme je l’ai mentionné, nous avons vu son point le plus bas en avril avec moins de la moitié des ventes du même mois l’an dernier. Et je pense que cela vous aide à mettre les choses en perspective. La marge brute est en baisse de 56% par rapport au premier semestre de l’année dernière. La business unit a donc mis en place un nombre important et étendu de mesures pour flexion d’une partie de notre coût fixe, mais malheureusement, cela n’a pas été vraiment suffisant pour compenser une baisse de volume aussi importante. L’EBIT sous-jacent a diminué de 66 millions d’euros. Cela s’est traduit par une marge sur les ventes de 3,9% alors que nous négociions au-dessus de la barre des 9% il y a à peine quelques mois. En conséquence, la marge sous-jacente a reculé à 11,1% contre 15,3% l’an dernier, toujours dans la fourchette à deux chiffres, mais en baisse par rapport à l’année dernière.

Passons aux solutions de fil d’acier. Ainsi, la business unit Steel Wire Solutions a enregistré une baisse du chiffre d’affaires consolidé de 15%. Cela résulte de la baisse de volume de 11%. Les changements de prix habituels, encore une fois, répercutés sur les prix du fil machine et les autres effets prix / mix, qui ont marginalement contribué à ce résultat pour un moins 1%. Et nous avons également dû souffrir de certains mouvements de change défavorables de moins 3%. La demande était forte dans la zone EMEA et en Chine. Elle était également forte sur le marché de l’agriculture et des services publics aux États-Unis.Cela a été, dans une certaine mesure, plus que compensé par l’impact des verrouillages imposés par le gouvernement en Inde et en Amérique latine, et par la faible demande des marchés de l’automobile et du pétrole et du gaz.

Une partie de la baisse des ventes était le résultat de notre décision de fermer les usines déficitaires de Shelbyville et d’Ipoh en Malaisie. Des décisions si difficiles que nous avons prises à la fin de l’année dernière, mais les bonnes décisions lorsque nous regardons les résultats que nous avons réussi à obtenir de ces actions. La marge brute augmente considérablement de l’ordre de 13%, passant à 93 millions d’euros en valeur absolue. C’est le résultat de l’amélioration du mix d’activités, de l’amélioration de l’empreinte qui – et des optimisations que nous avons mises en œuvre, mais aussi d’un contrôle rigoureux des coûts et de l’impact sur les actions d’atténuation associées au COVID-19. L’EBIT sous-jacent a augmenté de 44%. Cela nous permet de dégager une marge solide sur les ventes de 6% et l’EBITDA sous-jacent, qui s’améliore en conséquence pour atteindre une marge à deux chiffres de plus de 10%.

Passage à l’activité spécialisée (sic) [Specialty Businesses]. Ainsi, les activités spécialisées ont enregistré une baisse de 8,5% de leurs ventes. Cela s’explique par la baisse de la demande au deuxième trimestre. Tant dans les produits – Building Products que Fibre Technologies, nous avons dû signaler une baisse des ventes de 10%. Les technologies de combustion ont enregistré une baisse modérée et les ventes des activités Fil de sciage sont restées plutôt limitées. La demande du marché de la construction était encore forte au premier trimestre de l’année. Adouci, dans une certaine mesure, en Inde, en Amérique latine et en Turquie. Et il a également été affecté par l’affaiblissement général de la conjoncture économique. Dans la technologie des fibres, la demande sur les marchés de la filtration, du blindage et des fibres conductrices a compensé une partie des baisses (inaudibles) du volume des ventes, pardon, sur les marchés de l’automobile, de l’aviation et de l’aérospatiale. Ainsi, malgré cet impact, la business unit a amélioré sa marge EBIT sous-jacente de près de 100 points de base à 12,9%. Et la marge EBITDA sous-jacente a augmenté en conséquence pour atteindre un très robuste 17% environ, 16,6% exactement.

Encore une fois, là encore, nous avons mis en œuvre plusieurs mesures et également des améliorations de l’empreinte, le contrôle rigoureux des coûts, les actions d’atténuation dans plusieurs sous-segments, et nous pourrions également – nous tirons un très bon bénéfice de l’amélioration du mix d’activités.

Dans les produits de construction pour vous donner un exemple, le mélange a été renforcé en augmentant la demande pour la gamme haut de gamme des fibres d’acier Dramix pour le renforcement du béton et pour des solutions de renforcement de maçonnerie innovantes. C’est donc un très bon travail réalisé par les équipes de Specialty Business en termes d’amélioration de leur performance commerciale.

Passons à la dernière BU de notre groupe, donc BBRG. Donc un chiffre d’affaires en baisse de 5,6%, donc relativement plus faible par rapport aux autres business units. Une part importante de cette baisse était donc en fait le résultat de la réduction de la présence de la BU dans les applications à faible marge, ce qui s’est traduit par de très bonnes performances et de très bons résultats comme nous pouvons le voir dans certains KPI. Donc, en regardant par segment dans BBRG. Le marché des cordes a donc été moins affecté par l’impact du COVID-19. La demande est restée à de bons niveaux dans les mines, le pétrole et le gaz offshore, la pêche et la marine. Sur les cordons avancés, nous avons constaté une demande toujours faible du marché automobile, mais nous avons réalisé une croissance solide sur les marchés des ascenseurs et des courroies de distribution, sauf en Amérique du Nord. La business unit a dégagé un EBIT sous-jacent de 24 millions d’euros. C’est 4x les résultats de la même période l’an dernier, et cela atteint un sous-jacent de la marge EBIT sur les ventes de 10,3% contre 2,6% à la même période l’année dernière. Donc une amélioration globale très significative en termes de performances. L’EBITDA sous-jacent a atteint une marge exceptionnellement forte de 17,2%, et encore une fois, grâce à toutes les bonnes décisions qui ont été prises au sein de cette business unit.

Je pense donc que le retournement, qui a commencé il y a peut-être quelques mois, de BBRG est porté par un mix produit exceptionnellement solide, une bonne activité de projet, la parfaite exécution du plan de redressement au cours du premier semestre. Nous avons également bénéficié de certains événements ponctuels. Nous avons donc pu publier certaines dispositions, qui ont également contribué au résultat net. Et comme toutes les autres BU, le BBRG était également en mesure de mettre en œuvre avec succès toutes les actions associées au plan d’atténuation COVID.

Ceci conclut donc la partie sur l’analyse financière des BUs. Juste pour vous donner une couleur supplémentaire sur certains des détails de nos états financiers, donc en regardant les frais d’intérêts nets, nous voyons une diminution. C’est donc une continuation de la tendance que nous avions déjà à la fin de l’année dernière. Donc – et cela résulte de la baisse de la dette nette et de la baisse des charges d’intérêts des récents programmes de financement et de refinancement. L’autre résultat financier, sur lequel nous avons eu une dégradation par rapport à l’année dernière et où nous avons dû déclarer une charge négative de 15 millions d’euros, est principalement le résultat du résultat de conversion des devises sur certaines transactions réalisées et non réalisées. La charge d’impôts s’établit à 9 millions d’euros en dessous du 1er semestre 2019. Mais l’ETR, le taux d’imposition effectif, était assez élevé à 53%. Il s’agit d’un impact automatique de la situation COVID-19 sur le bénéfice avant impôt de nombreuses entités. Et nous avons également dû faire face à certains effets ponctuels à la suite de certains changements dans la législation, ce qui a également eu une incidence sur notre taux d’imposition effectif.

Passer à la diapositive suivante. Le message clé ici est donc que le partage [in the] les résultats des coentreprises et des entreprises associées sont stables. Nous avons observé une performance légèrement meilleure dans les activités fil d’acier, compensée dans une certaine mesure par la baisse du résultat des activités Renfort caoutchouc. Et au Brésil, comme dans d’autres régions du monde, le marché du pneumatique et de l’automobile a été fortement affecté par la crise. Les résultats imputables à l’intérêt incontrôlable (inaudible), ce que le spot est resté neutralisé.

Passons maintenant au flux de trésorerie. Oswald a mentionné le point culminant en matière de flux de trésorerie, nous avons doublé le niveau de liquidité disponible pour l’entreprise. Nous enregistrons donc un niveau de trésorerie disponible à 834 millions d’euros. Encore une fois, le double du montant à la même période l’an dernier. Ainsi, lorsque nous examinons les différentes composantes, qui nous conduisent à ces résultats, nous constatons que le flux de trésorerie provenant des activités opérationnelles a diminué d’environ 23 millions d’euros. Ceci est le résultat de la diminution de l’EBIT. Nous avons également un niveau inférieur de dépenses et de sorties des activités d’investissement, principalement en raison de la baisse des décaissements en termes de dépenses d’investissement. Nous constatons une augmentation significative des flux de trésorerie liés aux activités de financement. Ceci résulte principalement du tirage sur les facilités de crédit engagées et du refinancement de certains prêts locaux. Cela conduit donc à une trésorerie globale de 834 millions d’euros.

Je pense donc qu’il est important de souligner que même après avoir neutralisé les engagements, les prélèvements sur les facilités de crédit engagées, nous constatons toujours une amélioration des soldes d’équivalents de trésorerie de 80 millions d’euros par rapport à fin 2019 en raison des différentes améliorations de l’activité et aussi la bonne performance en termes de stabilisation de notre niveau de fonds de roulement.

Et cela m’amène en fait au détail sur le fonds de roulement et les chiffres clés associés à ce domaine. On constate donc que par rapport au 1er semestre 2019, nous avons diminué le besoin en fonds de roulement global de 236 millions d’euros. C’est donc une très bonne performance. Il est important de mentionner également que depuis la fin de 2019, nous avons encore réduit le fonds de roulement de 21 millions d’euros. Cela peut sembler plutôt modeste en comparaison des 236 millions d’euros bruts par rapport à l’année dernière, mais je pense qu’il est important de le replacer dans une perspective où nous faisons face à la crise et à tout l’impact que vous pouvez avoir en les termes des stocks, des créances et ainsi de suite. Et en parlant de cela, quand on regarde les stocks, on constate une baisse de 26 millions d’euros par rapport à la fin de l’année. Nous n’avons donc pas vraiment relâché la pression sur notre équipe pour qu’elle continue de contrôler strictement les niveaux de stocks, nous nous concentrons donc toujours très fortement sur ce domaine. Et comme vous pouvez le voir, cela donne de très bons résultats pour l’entreprise.

Les créances clients ont diminué de 94 millions d’euros par rapport à la clôture de l’année 2019. Cela résulte principalement de la baisse des ventes et de l’impact automatique de la baisse des ventes. Et nous avons également bénéficié d’effets de conversion FX favorables. Il convient de mentionner que nous avons réduit l’utilisation des instruments d’affacturage hors bilan. Nous avons donc eu une réduction d’environ 32 millions d’euros par rapport à la même période de l’année dernière et 39 millions d’euros par rapport à la fin de 2019. Le compte à payer, une diminution de 142 millions d’euros. Cela était principalement dû à la baisse des activités d’achat. Au total, le besoin en fonds de roulement moyen sur chiffre d’affaires s’établit à 21 – 20,1% à comparer à 20,6% au 1er semestre 2019. Soit un peu au-dessus du niveau de performance que nous avons réalisé à fin 2019, qui était dans la gamme de 18,2%.

Passage au bilan consolidé très rapidement. Donc ce que nous voyons, c’est que les actifs non courants ont diminué [due to the] Effet de conversion de change, donc c’était un impact des 35 millions d’euros et du niveau limité des Capex. Nous constatons une augmentation des actifs courants, principalement due à la position de trésorerie supplémentaire, partiellement compensée par la baisse des actifs en fonds de roulement. Les variations des passifs non courants et des passifs courants sont principalement liées au transfert de l’obligation convertible vers la partie courante des passifs car elle est désormais exigible dans un délai d’un an.

Les ratios clés. Donc, ici, vous pouvez voir un aperçu des ratios clés. Je pense donc que j’ai déjà couvert la plupart d’entre eux. Quelques mots sur l’EBITDA, la dette nette sur l’EBITDA et l’effet de levier. Il est légèrement en baisse par rapport au semestre 1 2019 à 2,5. Encore une fois, dans le contexte où nous faisons face à la crise, c’est une très bonne performance. La fin d’année 2019 était à 2,1%. Nous augmentons donc légèrement par rapport à ce niveau de performance. Mais encore une fois, c’est l’impact automatique de la baisse de l’EBITDA en valeur absolue du fait du périmètre de vente.

Les chiffres clés par action. Ainsi, vous pouvez voir les indicateurs clés. Je pense donc que l’indicateur clé est qu’en raison de la situation à laquelle nous devons faire face, le BPA est légèrement inférieur à 0,60 EUR par rapport à 1,03 EUR au premier semestre 2019. Donc – et ceci conclut cette partie de les finances. Et sur ce, je vous le rendrai, Oswald.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, PDG par intérim et administrateur [3]

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Taoufiq, merci beaucoup pour votre aperçu complet et approfondi des données financières. I would like now to provide the audience some more information, which might be of interest.

The first one is when we look on our CapEx in terms of capital investments, our CapEx in the PP&E was about EUR 37 million in the first half of 2020. This is EUR 11 million below the level in the half year of last year. And it’s strictly limit to that what has been absolutely necessary, of course, not neglecting any safety and health compliance orders.

There’s one further topic I would like to lay out, and this is regarding real estate.In the past months, we reached the final agreement with the buyers on the sale of some properties in Belgium. There’s the first one, the sale of a plot of land Hemiksem, which will have a net cash impact of EUR 23 million and will contribute to 20 — EUR 36 million in positive one-offs to our income statement of the second half. The second one, the sale of Dramix building in Moen and some small factory building in Zwevegem, will have a net impact on cash, about EUR 10 million, also in the second half of 2020.

Now let me go to the outlook, and I think it would be very good to have a crystal ball. But we have to confess, on the one side, we see maybe a project, the capital recovery in the Italian markets as a kind of catch-up for the remainder of the year. But it’s also sure the demand evolution or the markets and other businesses are much more difficult to project in the current economic environment when you have just read this morning about the GDP perspective in several countries, I think this would confirm that. But what we can influence is, of course, internally to continue to implement all the mitigation actions we have in place and to improve further the business measures we have on the plan. We also expect to continue the impact on the focus made to strengthen our resilience to face this crisis. The current evolutions and potential second wave risk of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to create, for sure, a high level of uncertainty. And I said at the beginning, in the new normal, we will continue to be confronted with a high level of unpredictability and ambiguity. In this context, we have only limited visibility on the full year impact in our markets and our businesses. But once again, let me summarize the effectiveness of the measures we have implemented. It has made us strong and more resilient to cope with severe challenges as evidenced in our financial results of the first half of the year. And by closing here, I would like now to open the call for Q&A. Je vous remercie.

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Questions et réponses

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [1]

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D’accord. Good afternoon, everybody. We now invite our analysts to ask the questions they may have. (Instructions pour l’opérateur)

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Wim Hoste, KBC Securities NV, Research Division – Executive Director Research [2]

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Katelijn, do you hear me?

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [3]

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Yes, Wim.

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Wim Hoste, KBC Securities NV, Research Division – Executive Director Research [4]

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It’s Wim Hoste. Oui. Can I ask the question?

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [5]

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Oui, vas y.

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Wim Hoste, KBC Securities NV, Research Division – Executive Director Research [6]

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D’accord. Quelques questions de mon côté. Maybe first on the underlying trends in the Rubber Reinforcement market and especially in China, we saw a rebound of car production amongst other elements that turned quite positively in the last few weeks and months even. So the question is what is — what are the underlying trends you are seeing

in the Rubber Reinforcement market globally but also certainly in China? Also maybe with regards to the technology differences, the higher tensile cords, et cetera, do you see competition trying to catch up with your position in that field? So any additional clarity on that would be helpful. Voilà donc la première question.

And the second question I would like to ask is maybe an update on the cost savings. You gave some numbers in the press release and the EBIT bridge. EUR 30 million was mentioned as a structural savings number. I think a number of the initiatives you’ve undertaken have not fully shown their fruits or benefits in the first half. So can you maybe provide us with your expectation on the — of the run rates of all the structural savings measures and not the temporary ones of COVID-19 but structural measures and by when do you expect to see this fully coming in? These are the questions.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [7]

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So allow me to take this question. Thank you very much for the [juice]. The first question you had was the underlying trend in China and about the high tensile, wasn’t it? So to answer this, we have seen the hit — what we got in the automotive was starting in February, in order — if you recall, there was the Chinese New Year, and even this one was extended. So China was the first one to go into the pandemic and was maybe also the first one to leave the pandemic as well. And I think this is why you see a catch-up in the area over the last weeks and months to this extent.

Yes, of course, so I think this is going to continue, especially when you see stimulus packages coming up for instruction — for construction infrastructure. And this also leads to an improvement where truck tires are needed, and in truck tires, there’s also more steel cord needed there. So there is a kind of a recovery side. What is in China missing still yet, this is the export, yes? It is domestic. The domestic demand is helping, let’s say, a positive outlook, but the export still is suffering to the — in other Asian market, and this is where I will say not the full potential in China is yet there.

The second thing is you talked about high tensile. And I think this is a normal market involvement. When you’re a market leader, everybody tries to come in the areas where you are in. But I think from the technology point of view, we are already always a step ahead. Yes, competition is there. But I think this is a normal, and it’s not a scary one, and I think we will be able to stand any competition like we did in the past. So this is not, obviously, what scares us, really. Developments are there. We are going more and more (inaudible) the customers, what we said, very closed link to work on future projects on the high tensile and many other ones. This is not the only one that we got, right? The higher the [inches gait of the rims], I would say, the more tensile is needed, but also more [sequence] is needed to this effect.

If this answers your first question, I would like maybe hand over to Taoufiq. You were asking about the impact of the run rate of the EUR 30 million. But please, you have another comment?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [8]

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Oui. So when you look at our bridge, basically, we have, in the overall bucket of the cost savings, 2 major components. What we look at as mainly tactical and punctual actions associated with the mitigating actions for EUR 52 million; and then what we see as more structure, which is — all the savings resulting from the restructuring and activities like that. So it’s a total amount of EUR 30 million. EUR 10 million out of this EUR 30 million is on savings, maybe overheads out of the depreciation. So there’s a EUR 20 million, really, which is coming from the different restructuring actions.

What we have communicated is that the initiatives that we took and that we are expecting to generate recurring savings are mainly the ones related to the Belgium restructuring, including part with the closure of Moen. And we estimate the recurring impact on a full year basis of around EUR 20 million. Then we had also the closure and the restructuring in the U.S., Malaysia, [Ron Rogers] ainsi que. And BBRG, which are also estimated to EUR 20 million. So EUR 40 million recurring expected saving on a full year basis out of this EUR 40 million, we have already delivered EUR 20 million. So we still have another EUR 20 million to deliver for the next 6 months. So based on that, we consider that we are on track with the expected savings that we were initially aiming at.

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Analyste non identifié, [9]

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Oui. (inaudible). Peux-tu m’entendre?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [10]

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Sound is not great, but I think we will manage with that.

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Analyste non identifié, [11]

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D’accord. With regards to the COVID-19 mitigation actions, the cost savings of EUR 52 million, should we view all of those costs as temporary? And if so, how should we think of the cost and the savings of those costs coming back in the second half and into 2021? Ce serait ma première question.

The second question is how much government supports furlough, [food] sites support have you received in the first half. And maybe additionally, if you could split that between the 4 divisions.

And the third question is on working capital, twofold, basically. Your DSO was rather solid. And is this a sustainable level going forward? And can you elaborate a little bit on that on why then? And with regard to factoring, you previously communicated a soft target of factoring of around 20% of accounts receivables. It’s much lower in the first half of this year. What has caused that change of heart?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [12]

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Oui. D’accord. So I will start with the mitigating actions and try to bring you some perspective on that. So overall, when you look at what we had in the bridge, so we have reported the mitigating action associated with COVID of EUR 52 million.

So when you look at the breakdown, so this is a mixed bag of different things. There is a part which is mainly related to the cost control. So you have the operational cost. You have also a lot of discretionary costs, [G&A and] consultancy. You have some cost which, automatically because you have less travels, less activity, so you see this going down. And when it comes to the government tab, so this was done through different levers. So you have typically what we see in the 4 low regimes. The subsidies for the temporary unemployment in general. And in the overall pocket of EUR 52 million, the labor is the biggest part. So when you break it down, so there’s a EUR 26 million, which is the overhead; and another EUR 18 million, which is COVID-related different type of [subsidies] etc.

Looking at the specific contribution from the government, we saw different type of contribution. So it’s ranging everywhere from compensating the loss of income for our employees, to the direct payment to Bekaert, to waiver of some taxes in some areas of the world, some delays in terms of paying, well, some of the taxes. So it’s a very, very diverse type of contribution that we got there. It will be very difficult right now to give you a breakdown by BU. I think that what — the indicator that you need to look at is that since these measures and costs were mainly addressing the labor part and, more particularly, the blue-collar part, you would expect that this would go mainly through the BUs, which have the biggest operational footprint and the biggest [bits]. So that’s what I can say about the mitigating actions.

Then if we move to the factoring. Actually, for a long time, I mean we have used factoring as an opportunistic measure. I mean it’s not something that we are starving for. We’re doing it on a very opportunistic approach when and if it makes sense. The other thing that needs to be put in perspective is that with the level of liquidity that we have, we’re not desperate to go blindly after factoring. So when we look at the overall usage of factoring in the company, we are currently at 13%, 1-3, of our receivables. I think that we can go up to 20%, but we really want to do it on an opportunistic basis.

We did have, indeed, a slight decrease this year simply again because, back to what I just said, we didn’t run for it desperately. And then also because you have an automatic reduction of your overdues because you have lower level of sales because of lower activity. So that also explains the reduction that we’re reporting in the financial instruments.

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Analyste non identifié, [13]

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And just coming back on your answer on the COVID-19 mitigation actions. I’m not really sure whether I really got a sense of — what element of those costs are now temporary? And when will they come back? I appreciate the explanation of the EUR 52 million, but they will come back at some certain point in time.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [14]

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Oui. I mean, again, when you look at the EUR 52 million, it’s a mix of cost savings and also a portion of inflows that we have received from government. So as the business will pick up, as more and more plants will be become operational, you will see an automatic drop within these kinds of things. The other levers that, for instance, we have used internal — from the operational side to deliver on these activities, it’s some buckets of operational costs. So typically, when you’re not using your factory, you have less maintenance spend on that. So you would expect these categories of cost, which are the true main buckets making up the EUR 52 million, to come back, and there’s no surprise about that. Having said that, I mean we have also learned from the crisis how to live with a higher level of frugality. So I mean within these costs, we have also spent less in consulting. We have adjusted our way of working in order to be able to spend less in traveling. And we are not yet expecting this to come back. We will still continue applying the same kind of discipline on the part of these mitigation controls, which are controllable.

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Analyste non identifié, [15]

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D’accord. And then on the DSO, I had a question on the accounts receivables and the sustainability of that relatively good level.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [16]

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Oui. So the — as I said, I mean when you look at the good level of the DSO, so this was driven by the fact that we had lower level of receivables. But what we have seen as well is the — we had the stronger result with the collection efforts that we have implemented.

So we are expecting this DSO to slightly increase between now and year-end, but we want to set a benchmark or target for us internally, at least for 2020. And we’re really aiming to keep it in that level. So we will see if we need to apply some additional factoring on top of it. We will not do just for the sake of improving our DSO. I mean we will see if it brings other benefits for the company. But for the moment, we need to — and this is where the uncertainty comes in place. I mean we don’t know to with which volume the business will pick up and how it will impact our receivables. But we have a clear target to maintain the overall working capital at the level that you have seen now. You saw that overall, I mean, when you combine the different working capital elements, and we saw it in the result delivered in year-end 2019, we can reach an average of 18 — above 18%, below 19%. This is still the internal target that we have. We will take into account some potential increases coming from the fact that the activities across the globe might resume and pick up, but we have set a clear target in the range of what we see currently and as an average for the first half in terms of working capital.

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [17]

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Next?

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [18]

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Emmanuel Carlier from Kempen. 3 questions.

The first one is on your outlook. So just looking at consensus, looking at the consensus, looking at underlying [EBIT] in the second (inaudible) [level of half over half] in that we guide for a gradual recovery in Rubber Reinforcement. So this seems quite prudent. I understand that we don’t have a lot of visibility on [for us]. (inaudible) will be so much more difficult. On the other hand, cost savings will remain quite high. So the question is how do you look at consensus estimates? And what are the main moving parts at the perspective to the (inaudible) 2020 underlying EBIT? That’s the first question.

Second question is just on the footprint. How do you look at your footprint, taking into account the new market reality? Should we expect additional closures?

And the third question is how is the current prices impacting some of your competitors and future potential benefits in some — by [patients] from companies [going bust]?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [19]

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Maybe I’ll take the first part on the outlook, and I think I said it’s a little bit the topic of the crystal ball. And I would agree. We see some (inaudible)recoveries. I would even say it’s a kind of a catch-up for the third quarter and when we look on the inventories maybe of tire makers, et cetera. And — but the key question is will this continue into quarter 4. We see different signs all over the globe. This is certainly, and we hope see — I’ve seen that April was really one of the most difficult ones but May-June coming back. And for the first quarter, I think that we see a positive trend on catching up again, of course, being far away from that, what we have seen in 2019. But I think this is RR. When we look on SWS, we have always the seasonality. We have a hurricane season. And in Americas, we’re still facing a lot of uncertainties. When we look now on the specialty business, I think we see a little bit of a continuation of the level we have today. There are stimulus package out. We are very well established in the markets with our products. So I think we can be somehow — yes, we have a better visibility. But of course, it’s not full potential. We are still in a depressed market. We see some signs also in the fiber business for the automotives that might go back. The same seasonality effect, and this is not only the seasonality effect for BBRG, it’s also project which are there. And of course, we are watching very carefully the outlook, let’s say, the pipeline we have or the funnel of fleets we have for the projects to come.

But all in all, we have to be really prudent to say we do see some signs for the first quarter. And our — we understand there’s seasonality what we have in SWS and BBRG. And the project business always it depends — on the tendering. And then finally, orders are taken on this one, yes? Now Taoufiq, would you like to answer the part of the question, the outlook of the financials?

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [20]

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Could I maybe first add-on a question? So related to your guidance, quite important driver was also mix effects in H1. Is that something that will continue into the second half?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [21]

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Yes, of course, we strive for this positive mix effect, absolutely. And I think this was also a part of the strategy to go out of applications where we have low margin, we can go in higher margin. But of course, the customer has to accept it, yes? And that customer, we have to sell the value for the customer. And this has happened quite well in the first half.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [22]

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Oui. So just to add up on that, I think that when you look at the historical performance in Bekaert and all things being equal, we always see that the second half tends to trend lower than the first half. So in the case of last year, we were in the range of EUR 10 million below in the second half compared to the second half. And when we do the same analysis over a longer period, you see a gap of 20 — up to EUR 20 million between one quarter to the other. So this is something that needs to be factored in.

What makes it a bit complicated is how do you factor in also the potential rebound that we’re seeing in some of the segments compared to the first half of next year. How sustainable is it? And how long would it last? So that’s the reason we have this — the guidance, which is somehow a bit difficult to make. We understand that the consensus is in the range of EUR 175 million. We needed to understand now whether we’re taking into account the definite — the different elements that I referred to and maybe the seasonality of some of our businesses, like Oswald has mentioned.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [23]

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I would go to your second question, if it’s okay for you. This was about the public footprint, yes? And you have seen we are constantly evaluating, let’s say, the health and future potential of our activities, and COVID-19 is not only the trigger for that. We have heard about Shelbyville. We have heard about Ipoh in Malaysia. We just have mentioned the savings was in [2009] on Hemiksem. I think this is a continuous topic you address to this one, yes? And of course, this always has to fit to the customer needs. This has also to be the closeness of the customers. But this is independent, of course, from the, I would say, from COVID-only diseases. This is a general topic we will always do, yes? This is very clear.

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [24]

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Oui. What surprised me just a little bit is that with end markets being massively under pressure, it’s the first 6-month period, I think, that you don’t really do a lot of restructuring. That’s why…

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [25]

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It was happening to what extent?

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [26]

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Well, I mean footprint optimization. Typically, the last 2 years, you have done a lot in terms of footprint optimizations. But yes, with corona having a quite severe impact on your business, I would have expected, and I think consensus as well, if you look at the one-off costs that people are expecting, I think most people expect quite some (inaudible). I just want to check if it was anything in the pipeline without really disclosing what it is, of course.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [27]

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Oui. At least we will continue to check on that to prove our footprint. And of course, when you have a change of demand, but this is also a little bit linked to the footprint discussions of the customer. Also, there is something going on. And as you might imagine, we have quite capital-intensive factories. So it’s not like opening and closing. So this has a little bit of, I would say, a midterm strategy. But footprint discussions are ongoing, of course, also in this environment. This is very clear. And you have seen that we have also, in June, we have a small plant close in Texas. We have shifted Dramix to a [PPIG] plant. So I think this is already continuing. This is nothing special. But of course, you’re absolutely right. It’s reinforced of that what the COVID needs but it’s also a little bit linked to the outlook, what’s coming up.

Oui. And this is — this was an interruption. But what you also see is if the demand is coming back, and you somewhat get caught on the wrong leg, it’s maybe also not so helpful. So it’s really a good discussion with our customer where they see also the need, and we look very closely with them where we can be locally as well.

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [28]

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And then the third question…

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [29]

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About competition?

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [30]

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Oui.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [31]

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When — especially, I think our business is very, how we say, transparent. And here, we’re watching very carefully how the financial behaviors is, how close — know we are close to the customers. We have seen in areas of WS, which is a more fragmented market. Here, we have also been watching how the competitors are doing. And we have seen that we got sometimes orders from customers which have not been with us, but they [joined us in]. Taoufiq, do you have a comment as well on the competition?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [32]

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No, I just wanted to come back quickly on the outlook and how we view that. I think it’s important to highlight that, I mean, when we look at the different improvements that we have delivered, and typically, the pricing and mix being one of them, I think it’s important to clearly insist on the fact that this is not a one-off. I mean it’s something that we will still see for the balance of the year. So I think that we had some improvements, which have been delivered. We know better how to manage the situation with self-help measures. I think that we can also benefit from the good improvements that we’re doing from the commercial front. We’re seeing also some improvement coming from the demand, which is progressively picking up. So I mean, all of these put in perspective does give us some level of comfort that the second half will not be — I’m not saying easy, right? But I think that we know what are the challenges, and whatever we have to do, we are implementing these measures to make sure that we still deliver a strong performance in the second half.

And to come back on the restructuring. I mean this is typically the kind of things that, I mean, you were referring that what we have done in the previous periods and the fact that we have been relatively quiet on that front. I mean it’s not something which is planned to happen progressively throughout the year. I mean we are very opportunistic, as I already mentioned to some of you, in the way we want to tackle our footprint optimizations. It’s an exercise which does take time. I mean we need to understand the impacts for our business. All I can tell you is that we’re looking at all the different fronts in terms of what are the actions that we can take and that we should take. And when the moment is right to announce that, we will do an announcement associated with it.

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [33]

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Oui. The reason I was asking is that to get to the 7% underlying EBIT margin, you probably have the footprint optimization.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [34]

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Well — not absolutely. I can only agree with you, and that’s the reason why I’m insisting on the fact that the assessment of our footprint is really an ongoing exercise. We are bound, as you can imagine, by obligations and by the analysis and work that we need to do internally before coming up to the conclusions. But we are not leaving any stone unturned to make sure that we can optimize our footprint to get as soon as possible to this 7%.

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Emmanuel Carlier, Kempen & Co. N.V., Research Division – Research Analyst [35]

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Oui. And really final question from my end. So on competition, do you see in some segments competitors post the bankruptcy?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [36]

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You want to take this one, Oswald?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [37]

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Oui. We are tracking it very carefully. There are some companies struggling, yes. But I — and we’re watching this very carefully all over the globe. We see competitors, what I said before. We get orders from some customers, which they have been with competition. We appreciate them, and we appreciate that they will stay longer with us. I haven’t heard anything, but I think this is very transparent in the market if some bankruptcies — there are always rumors around. This is true. But we focus on our relationship to the customers, and we see that we can gain additional offers on the one side but also orders from the other side, yes? And here, we see that maybe some customers are cautious with [room to grow].

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Frank Claassen, Banque Degroof Petercam S.A., Research Division – Analyst [38]

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This is Frank Claassen of Degroof Petercam. I’ve got a question under your CapEx for this year. What is your latest view on the CapEx numbers? And do you only expect maintenance CapEx? Or are there still growth projects in there? And what kind of projects?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [39]

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Oui. I can start maybe here, and Taoufiq, do you want to go in on this one? So on CapEx, we have a threefold CapEx approach. The first one is always safety and healthy. (inaudible) with compliance with all what we need to do and want to do. We want to keep our people safe. We have (inaudible) programs. We have gathering of machines. This is continuing. It’s a little bit delayed because there were some plants, somehow, they were, of course, shut down on a low level. This is — normally delays a little bit the programs, but here we go ahead.

The second part of what we have is about maintenance and improvement. This is also normal processes where we improve when, I would say, the utilization of a machine where we had better energy usage out of this one. And the first bucket is for growth projects. And when you see, we are trusting [Berto Covice] on the BPR, on our Building Product, on our Dramix plant. We have 2 investments. We also took currently the investments for the Vietnam projects. And if you want to have somehow, let’s say, a guidance in the last year, we have about EUR 100 million here. And I will say this is always an indication where we might go in [future as well] in the current base. But it’s important to understand that this is a threefolded bucket, where we’re coming from safety and health improvements and maintenance. And of course, some of the maintenance project, because the factories and the plants were down, didn’t need this maintenance to the extent that maybe [when you have a full-ramp factory], but the growth projects are covered as well.

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Analyste non identifié, [40]

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Oui. Ses [Stan] (inaudible) ING here. Peux-tu m’entendre?

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [41]

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Oui, [Dan]. Aller de l’avant.

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Analyste non identifié, [42]

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D’accord, bien. 3 questions from my part. First one is on Brazil. A few of your peers have actually reported a fairly strong second quarter in Brazil with the full impact of COVID-19 only to be fully felt in the third quarter. Is it something you recognize? It doesn’t align with minus 60% of volumes in Rubber Reinforcement in your Brazilian joint venture, but potentially other end markets such as construction have performed differently. So that’s my first question.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [43]

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Taoufiq, you want to take that Brazil up?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [44]

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Oui. So what we saw in Brazil is that the Rubber Reinforcement business did suffer in the area. So we did see and did notice an overall slowdown on the Rubber Reinforcement in Brazil. The order activities did also got marginally impacted, mainly in the construction business because of some sites — construction sites which were stopped. Unfortunately, I mean as it stands now, for the second half, we didn’t see a major improvement or stabilization coming out of Brazil.

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Analyste non identifié, [45]

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D’accord. That’s still trending lower.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [46]

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Oui.

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Analyste non identifié, [47]

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D’accord. Another question is on CapEx. So did I — on Frank’s question, did I understand that you see EUR 100 million of CapEx as a decent run rate number? Because it’s such a quite — it’s such a difference with the previous levels. And then related to that, can you give an update on the Rubber Reinforcement expansion in Vietnam and what’s the status there?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [48]

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Oui. I will take the first part of the question. The EUR 100 million is definitely not the run rate. So the EUR 100 million is something that we have — we are considering in the context that we did wait. I mean, as you know, I mean a lot of plants were not operational. We’re completely mindful and fully mindful that this is the main lever for the growth, and this will be reassessed for the next year. Having said that, we don’t see CapEx now as a big (inaudible) to optimize our level of (inaudible). And as you see, we are rather on the comfort zone on the liquidity. So that’s why we want also to remain very opportunistic. Oswald and I, we still get many requests for investments in new machines and things like that. So we’re trying to have a very opportunistic approach when it comes to that. And we see how the situation evolve in order to release or to relax a little bit the discipline that we have implemented with that.

So I mean with the current climate, we don’t want to rush into a major investment. And just again, to confirm, EUR 100 million will not be the run rate.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [49]

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No. And I think just to add this, we always get requests for single further CapEx projects, and they are just validated and moved as well. These are, I would say, especially earmarked ones, and we continue to do this that makes absolute sense, yes? We are not limiting ourselves to this number only. It’s more whether to make more sense of it. There was a question on Vietnam.

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Analyste non identifié, [50]

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Oui. Oui. What’s the status there?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [51]

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The status is clear. You will find already the steel [pillows] Là. We are finalizing the roofs and then the walls. And of course, we need to reevaluate what is the time line, yes? Because it’s clear that there may be a little bit of delay and really don’t need to rush in this current climate into, how we say, building up very much immediately capacity. And we will watch how the market is going to develop. We are convinced that the market in Asia here, they will come, and we see it already in China, but also outside of China, it will come back. And we will just align with this demand coming back to time lines for the next step. But currently, we are on the plan that we are finalizing what we have banked on buildings in order to [make — to get the progress] Là.

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Analyste non identifié, [52]

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D’accord. Then a question on China. Typically, or in the past, your Chinese competitors fairly quickly moved to lower pricing in these kind of circumstances. Is that something that you recognize? Or has there been sort of a new-found pricing discipline?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [53]

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Oui. That is definitely a nice question. And of course, when competition is also ramping up, we sell more of that, yes? But we also see, how we say, the relationship with our customers and our efforts to give the most to supply in the difficult times they had in China. And I think also to our footprint, we can deal with this pressure. I think it’s also there how we can optimize our cost position if there is price pressure in order to keep the margin. But you’re absolutely right, and I experienced this from my previous lives in [escalator]. It’s always the Chinese. It’s always the fast-moving ones. But you have to react on this. This is very clear. But also the relationship, what we have with the customer, I think, and the product we provide, it’s always — not only the price, it’s the total cost of ownership, which really makes the final decision for our customers to join or to stay with us.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [54]

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And if I can just add on this one, Oswald. I mean when we look at the situation as it stands now, what we notice is that the competition in China is somehow behaving, meaning by that, that they’re not going to create pricing wars and things like that. One of the explanation is that I think that they’re becoming more and more mindful of the fact that they also need to deliver profits. Some of them are listed companies, so they cannot just go after crazy price reductions and compromising their profitability. So we hope that this trend will stay like that. This is what we noticed during the first quarter. Now the underutilization of their factories might probably drive a different type of thinking, but we’re hopeful that they will, most of all, run after profitability rather than volume.

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Analyste non identifié, [55]

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D’accord. D’accord. If I may squeeze in one technical question. You mentioned the release of provisions in BBRG as a positive one-off. Can you quantify this?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [56]

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Oui. It’s a limited one. It’s EUR 2 million. So we had some provisions for claims and also for slow-moving inventories that were not needed anymore. So that’s what we have reached.

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Martijn P. den Drijver, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Division de la recherche – Analyste [57]

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Can I ask some follow-up questions? Martijn den Drijver, ABN AMRO.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [58]

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Sûr.

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Martijn P. den Drijver, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Division de la recherche – Analyste [59]

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I think Matthijs raised his hand.

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Matthijs Van Leijenhorst, Kepler Cheuvreux, Research Division – Analyst [60]

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Excuse me?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [61]

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Oui.

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Martijn P. den Drijver, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Division de la recherche – Analyste [62]

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Oui. I think Matthijs raised in hand in the chat.

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Matthijs Van Leijenhorst, Kepler Cheuvreux, Research Division – Analyst [63]

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Oui. Yes, I did. But if you want to go first, Martijn, please, please feel free.

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Martijn P. den Drijver, ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Division de la recherche – Analyste [64]

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I’ll keep this [short], Matthijs. With working capital, were there any payment delays in terms of VAT or corporate tax that have been impacting working capital? That’s question one.

The second one is you mentioned specifically that profitability for Rubber Reinforcement in June has gone up significantly. Could you maybe give us an indication of what we should be thinking about? Is that 100 basis points, 200 basis points, 300 basis points? Just a bit of a sense of what the — what significant in this context means.

And the third question is a bit of a clarification. Taoufiq, you mentioned structural savings, EUR 40 million, EUR 20 million done, EUR 20 million still to go. That EUR 20 million, is that really coming to the fore in the second half of this year? Or will that also be partly in 2021? And if so, what is the component that will surface in 2021?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [65]

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Oui. So the simple answer to your first question is no. We didn’t have any delay in paying taxes or any of our obligations. So we can get any benefit from that.

The second question — sorry, the third because I forgot what was your second question, so I will jump directly to the third, and then you can help me with the second one. So we have — as I said, I mean we’re expecting EUR 40 million coming from the measures that we’re doing. It’s a run rate basically of EUR 20 million or EUR 10 million per quarter. We have already delivered the EUR 20 million out of it, and we’re expecting simply the residual EUR 20 million to be delivered for the balance of the year. It’s not something which is a gut feeling. I mean we have the confirmation of that coming out of the first restraint — sorry, the back end of last year of the last quarter of 2019 where we saw the first impacts coming out of it. And that’s the reason why we’re confident that we’ll still be in a position to deliver this additional EUR 20 million.

The — yes, you asked me the question on the EBIT improvement in June for RR. So I think that the improvement that we were referring to was mainly coming from the fact that we did see demand picking up. So I mean when you see the demand picking up, so I mean you have — you can manage more proactively some of the big areas which have hitted us this year, which is the under absorption. So we will see less impact subject to this demand pickup being confirmed for the balance of the year. Very hard to come back and tell you exactly, I mean, if it will be 90, 50 or 100 basis points. I mean we’re, first of all, hoping to have a consistent resuming of the demand in order to mitigate as much as we can the cash conversion cost in our P&L.

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Matthijs Van Leijenhorst, Kepler Cheuvreux, Research Division – Analyst [66]

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Oui. This is Matthijs here, if I may. It’s — I’ve got a question regarding your cash position. If I’m right, you have next year — or by the end of this year, you have a redemption coming up of around EUR 120 million. And also next year, you have this convertible with around EUR 400 million maturing. Could you tell me what you want to do with these 2 loans? Are you going to refinance them? And regarding the convertible, do you believe you’re able to replace this convertible with a new offering? Or could you please give some color on that?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [67]

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So for this year, so we have 2 main milestones. So that’s the EIB loan, EUR 75 million, which is happening in Q3, and we have raised the whole part of the retail bond EUR 46 million. We are not expecting to refinance any of these 2 loans. So we will pay them in full. Then we have the convertible bond, which is EUR 380 million, maturity in June 2021. We have already started looking at our refinancing options. We are not expecting major issues in terms of the refinancing. And there as well, because of the level of the liquidity that we have, we want to take the luxury of being very opportunistic and make sure that we take the best solution for us.

If there is an uncertainty related with that, it’s not related to Bekaert because, again, with EUR 120 million or [EUR 34 million] of liquidity, we can — could wait before doing anything. But we’re very cautious with how the situation will evolve in the financial market should a second wave of the crisis might come again. So that’s why we want to be proactive but, at the same time, be very opportunistic and cautious by selecting the right tool to do this refinancing.

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Matthijs Van Leijenhorst, Kepler Cheuvreux, Research Division – Analyst [68]

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D’accord. D’accord. Oui. And then to come back on your CapEx. I’m still a bit surprised. It’s already for 2 years now, you keep the CapEx level at around EUR 100 million that compared to previous year, so 2018 and before, you spent around EUR 200 million. So basically, in my view, 2 years of underinvestment, and it’s partly related to the fact that you want to reduce your leverage. If I look at competition, competition like Xingda is spending quite a lot. So are you not afraid that, that competition is moving ahead? And I foresee a risk to CapEx in order for you to catch up. Or am I missing something?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [69]

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No. Well, I mean, I don’t think that the comparison with Xingda is completely, sorry to use this word, relevant. I mean, as you know, they had to invest in their plant off Thailand, and this has generated, at least for the last couple of years, a significant level of investment. They’re just behind — in front of us in the cycle because, I mean, we will have to deal with the same project with Vietnam. And actually, we’re quite regretful that we didn’t run too fast into this because, I mean, when you see, for instance, the Xingda plant in Thailand, the plant is closed and completely empty as we speak. So again, and this, I think, highlights a question about how you want to do your investment. I think that you can do EUR 100 million, EUR 150 million very well targeted, making sure that you invest in the things which will really generate growth or you can just blindly invest EUR 250 million for everything better that come up.

So what we’re trying to do is to bring a higher level of discipline in the way we’re investing. We’re very mindful that the CapEx is really a key driver for our growth. So it’s definitely not an area that we will disregard. We’re, unfortunately, very cautious this year because of what’s happening in our economic environment. But we’re expecting to resume our level of investment as soon as we get more visibility on how the demand will pick up, in which sector it will pick up and which area of the world. And this is the result of the strat plan exercise that we are currently conducting. And again, with our level of liquidity, I mean we don’t want to compromise on our growth opportunities. So we will invest whenever it’s needed to invest, and it’s something that, even in a depressed environment like this one, we still continue to do.

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Matthijs Van Leijenhorst, Kepler Cheuvreux, Research Division – Analyst [70]

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Oui. But to just summarize, if — assuming that demand picks up next year, that obviously requires some working capital. And if I understood it correctly, it also requires some investments. Do you believe that you have any liquidity to keep things going?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [71]

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Well, I mean, again, what we see is that we are in a machine which, despite the crisis, is still generating free cash flow. So I think that — and on top of that, we have secured a reasonable amount of cash. I mean just to give you an example, if we were to do no refinancing at all, with the current level of cash that we have, we can meet all our financial obligations, including the repayment of the convertible bond. So we still have financial room of maneuver to address the growth projects whenever and wherever they might pop up. The only thing is that what is preventing us from doing it right now is that the economy is shifting significantly. I mean the demand might move from Europe to Asia or the other way around. We need to factor in the impact of the taxes and things like that in the U.S. And we want to make sure that we invest with the right return on investment. And in order to make up clear conclusion with that, we need to see the situation stabilizing and understand where the growth opportunities are in order to do [the same investment]. So to put it in short, we have financial capacity to invest. The reason why we are not doing it right now is that we have too many moving pieces. We want to understand how demand and the new normal will stabilize in order to launch our investment plans.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [72]

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So Taoufiq, I think allow me to add. I think with all the 4 business units, we are sitting together in this space, and this is what we call also strat plan, to identify where are the opportunities and where would it be the best to go for it. So it’s also a little bit of the competition in order to understand where we can be quick if demand is coming back and the return is also give me the time required. So there is the point — I would say the prework is ongoing to identify the opportunities in order to be quick when it’s needed.

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Wim Hoste, KBC Securities NV, Research Division – Executive Director Research [73]

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Oui. This is Wim Hoste again. A couple of follow-up questions from my side. So maybe first, can you provide some updates on your Sawing Wire strategy, please? Any success with the search of a potential partner or investor? Anything you can share there?

Then the second question is on wire rod prices and availability. The graph I’m tracking at Bloomberg on wire prices suggests a slightly moving up price tenancy of the Chinese [greats] in the last week, you could say. Also with regards to the previous discussions we had last few years with regards to quota systems in Brazil, et cetera. Any thoughts on that? Whether there will be any disruption this year in the second half or not? And then a final question is on — yes, the management team acting the search or the decision on the final CEO still has to be announced. Any update on that search, whether with internal candidates are being considered or it will be external? Des pensées là-bas? That would also be interesting to hear from you.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [74]

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Shall we go for this with the Sawing Wire business? I do want Taoufiq to help me. I think this has a very long addition in our company. And it’s a — I would say, it’s a business we’re willing to look at what to do and this is what we are now currently until the next week to look at what is the best way with this business to go ahead. You are — that’s absolutely the right question and we are really thinking about, with my colleague [Joan] in China, what would be the best activity, what would be the best way forward, and we are currently working on the strategy, what would be the situation we’re going to be in.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [75]

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Oui. I mean that part as well, Oswald — I think that we’re looking at the different scenarios, and it’s no secret. So it’s whether we find a partner or we exit completely this business. So the intention is to finalize the work which has been ongoing for 4 or 5 months now, and the expectation is still to come up with the final decision before year-end when it comes to Sawing Wire.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [76]

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This is our plan, and I think we are forecasting very well.

The second question was referring to wire rod, especially, I guess, (inaudible) we had a little bit of increase there. Are there substantial changes? I wouldn’t say that there are any. Yes, of course, this team must also have their footprint discussion, et cetera, but we didn’t — don’t see any interruptions coming up. We are very close with our suppliers in this one all over the place. And we do not see that there is a risk or any interruption to this extent. Does this answer your question? Or was there something more in it?

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Wim Hoste, KBC Securities NV, Research Division – Executive Director Research [77]

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No, this is, I think, valid. But just maybe on — your comment you made refers also to the Brazilian situation with the quota system there. It means that there’s no disruption to be expected there (inaudible) play with your comments, no?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [78]

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No. No real changes, okay. The most interesting one, what we have is on the management team. Merci pour ça. But unfortunately, I have to tell you, the process is ongoing. I can’t comment on this. There are external candidates and, of course, internal candidates. And of course, the process is maybe also a little bit extended for the COVID topics. So no significant changes or any change in the approach. But thanks for your question.

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [79]

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Next question from Matthijs. Yes, I just see the hands right there. Wim, you have another question?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [80]

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Maybe Wim is on mute as well.

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Wim Hoste, KBC Securities NV, Research Division – Executive Director Research [81]

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No, sorry. I think I forgot to lower my hand again. So the previous questions, sorry.

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [82]

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And the same applies to Matthijs there, probably. D’accord. Are there any additional questions? Ou…

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Analyste non identifié, [83]

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Oui. [Stan Macely]. Maybe to try another push on the EUR 52 million of COVID mitigation. Because to me it’s still unclear as these technical employment schemes, et cetera, tail off, how much of this would be recurring in the second half? Is this to fully disappear? Or do you expect to retain at least a part of it in the second half?

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [84]

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We are — now our projections are showing that during the second half, we will be trending somewhere around 40% to 50% of the first half. This is the plan. But it will be subject again to how quickly the operations will resume because it will drive upwards or downwards the level of contribution that we’re getting from the different governments. So if everything is picking up, we are not going to expect anything. For the moment, with what we know, from what we see, the expectation is to still generate a level of mitigating actions and associated with the crisis, coming both from the cost-out initiatives and also through the different contribution from the government. And the plan is to trend in the range of 40% to 50% of the first half level.

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Analyste non identifié, [85]

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D’accord. That’s very clear. And it probably also depends on the level of uptick you see in Rubber Reinforcement.

Related to that, your customer, Michelin, had its outlook earlier this week. Volumes on a full year basis, still expected down in an order of magnitude to between 15% and 20%. Knowing what we did in the first half, do you recognize this guidance? Is that something that we could apply to Bekaert, too, to your Rubber Reinforcement activities? Or do you expect to outperform this?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [86]

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Oui. Oui. No, I think we are flexible, and we cannot — I know this is, of course, Michelin’s perspective where they’re going to and what they see. What I think is we have seen the deep dive in April, recovering May, June. And this is mainly our perspective that we will have for the second half of the year, when you look on volumes, not on the revenues. I would say we’re going to have a 20% of overhaul of 2019.

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Analyste non identifié, [87]

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Désolé. So you expect volumes to be down 20% in the second half? Is that — or didn’t I catch it right?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [88]

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In 2020.

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Analyste non identifié, [89]

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On a full year basis?

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [90]

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Full year basis, yes.

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Analyste non identifié, [91]

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D’accord. So it’s actually a bit on the low end of the Michelin…

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [92]

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It depends very much how China is developing. You talk about truck tires, and this is depending more on the stimulus packages. I think construction, we have maybe more upside opportunities. (inaudible), we still don’t know if there’s a second wave coming and their [knowledge] continues to go down. It’s all about also on the inventory. But I think this is a rough, I would say, rule of the thumb, I would (inaudible).

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Analyste non identifié, [93]

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D’accord. So the 20% is on group level. It’s not simply for Rubber Reinforcement.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [94]

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It’s — I would say it’s under [50%] on the Rubber Reinforcement.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [95]

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D’accord. Katelijn, I guess, you can ask if there are any additional questions, so then we can probably conclude.

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Katelijn Bohez, NV Bekaert SA – Chief Communications Officer & IR Officer [96]

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Yes, over to Oswald.

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Oswald Schmid, NV Bekaert SA – COO, Interim CEO & Director [97]

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Oui. So the last at the end. Thank you very much for your participation and also for your interest and questions, very interesting for me. We do hope that you are all healthy and safety. And we are coming to a weekend, so have a good weekend. And I understand also vacation’s in front of us. And I do hope that we once have a chance (inaudible) but also in the [physical] meetings and in conferences and road shows. In the meantime, Katelijn and [Therese] of our Investor Relation team remains at your disposal for any questions or any other arrangements. So take care. Thank you very much for joining in, and all the best. Je vous remercie.

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Taoufiq Boussaid, NV Bekaert SA – CFO [98]

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Je vous remercie.

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