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Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube posts record profit again in 2005
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group
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Company: Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group, Netherlands
Attn: Petra van Zandvoort

Zwijndrecht, The Netherlands, 26 April 2006 Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group has once again posted good financial results for the year 2005. Turnover rose by 25% from 443 million to 552 million. Profits exceeded the previous record set in 2004 by over 50% and reached the high of 35.3 million (2004: 22.0 million). The strong profit growth was largely due to expansion of the commercial network, investment in logistics capacity and favorable market conditions, especially for products related to the oil and gas industry. Most of the growth in activities took place in Asia, Canada, the Middle East and Africa.

The operating result for 2005 was 36.8 million (2004: 22.7 million). Interest charges rose by 0.2 million to 1.9 million. Working capital rose as a result of increased activity, but the ratios improved. Solvency increased to 46.2% (2004: 41.4%). The strong balance sheet position provides sufficient room for financing projected growth.

In 2005 the dynamics of the various markets in which the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group operates varied considerably. The prices for construction products, which had gone sky-high in 2004, dropped sharply. Even though prices remained above the 2003 level, the result was hesitation in the market and negative inventory results. Overall, the market for precision and mechanical products was stable, with a slightly positive trend and controlled price rises until mid-year. Far and away the most lucrative market was the process industry. Due to strong demand from the oil and gas industry, the factories for these products were running at full capacity, with resultant shortages and price rises.

Thanks to a clear-cut policy and rapid responses the Construction division was able to minimize the effects of a hesitant market and achieve a clearly positive result. The Precision division further strengthened its position, mainly on the basis of efficient, reliable services. The Stainless division had record turnover figures in Belgium and France and boosted exports based on a broad inventory and an aggressive approach to customers. The most significant contribution to growth and profit came from the Process Industry division through its supply of products to destinations outside Europe. The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group was able to benefit from its international position and its branches in Asia, the Middle East and Canada. Large quantities of material from inventory in the Netherlands was also supplied to major customers inside and outside Europe.

All the operating companies outside Europe achieved record profits. In Asia the company was very successful at operating in the small and medium-sized projects market. With good local inventory and close cooperation with the base in Singapore, turnover in Thailand has increased four-fold in recent years. Great progress was made in Canada again. The expansion of local logistics facilities and the sales organization there has paid handsome dividends. Thanks to an expansion of the product range and an active distribution policy, profits rose further in Australia too. Strong growth in Middle Eastern markets also enabled the office in Abu Dhabi to achieve a record profit.

Organizational developments
In 2005 the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group continued to work steadily on growth by investing in commercial strength, acquisitions, and a growing network of partners in specific areas, supported by an effective logistics network, advanced IT systems and efficient day-to-day management. In China the Group signed a joint venture contract with the largest producer of seamless steel pipes, primarily with a view to selling to major customers in the countrys process industry. The vast majority of the joint venture products will also come from China. A branch was opened in Dubai that will focus on supplying large projects. New offices were also opened in the Czech Republic and Poland. In the logistics area, the main warehouses in France and the United Kingdom were expanded and optimized for maximum efficiency, which resulted in lower costs and better service. In the information technology field, we continued to develop the IT systems that support logistics and transport and our project organizations international network. Once again a great deal of time and effort was put into risk management, reporting and internal control.

The exceptional result for 2005 is unlikely to be matched or even approached this year. The construction market will recover to some extent from the difficult situation. Barring unforeseen circumstances, international markets for oil and gas will remain strong. On the basis of these facts and our good position in the market, the company expects to post a healthy, positive result in 2006 with completely acceptable returns on invested capital.

Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group
The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group is an international trading company specializing in steel pipes, pipe components and valves. The company is active in virtually every branch of industry. The foundation for the company was laid in 1924. The Group currently has 31 branches spread throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Canada.

     Tel: +31 78 6252525   Fax: +31 78 6252020
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