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Good results Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group in 2008
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group
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Company: Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group, Netherlands
Attn: Ingrid den Hartog

Good results Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group in 2008

. solid turnover and profit
. strong financial position
. robust portfolio of activities in difficult market conditions

Zwijndrecht, the Netherlands, 23 April 2009 The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group ended 2008 with a good result. Turnover increased by 6% to 789 million (2007: 748 million). A net result of 35.2 million was achieved (2007: 49,7 million). These solid achievements are due to the way the company seized opportunities in a changing market, investments in its international network, and cooperation and dedication of its employees. The year must be seen against the backdrop of a deteriorating economic climate worldwide.

The operating result amounted to 45.1 million for 2008 (2007: 64.8 million). The tax burden was 25%, compared to 26% last year. The net interest charges decreased by 0.5 million to 1.8 million; the result before tax decreased by 19.3 million to 43.2 million. The operational working capital decreased in 2008, in particular due to the decline in trade receivables. Solvency rose to 48% (2007: 45,9%). This balance sheet position provides sufficient scope to finance possible growth through acquisition.

The year 2008 was characterized by extremes. Until the summer there was excellent demand in various markets and sectors. The sales in all product groups seamless and welded pipes and tubes in both carbon steel and stainless steel increased and logistical capacity was fully utilized. Material prices rose sharply and fast, and the availability of some products became a problem. In the last months of the year it became clear that the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group was facing rapidly deteriorating market conditions. Virtually all sectors saw a significant decline in demand, especially in machine building, transport and trailer building, construction and steel construction. Also the oil and gas sector was cautious with investments. The construction of power plants around the world did not show much slowdown. The prices of seamless pipes stabilized. The prices for welded pipes and stainless steel pipe products showed a strongly declining pattern.


Continued investments

In 2008 the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group made continued investments in its network of offices and warehouses. In the Middle East teams were reinforced and the companys logistical infrastructure expanded with stock locations in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and in Qatar. In the United Kingdom, Thailand and Canada, offices were renovated and expanded. In Australia investments were made in Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney.

In a large number of warehouses investments took place in cutting capacity and new machines for material treatments. At central locations stocks for relatively new products like duplex and super duplex were built up. Its optimized European inventory management and storage systems ensured that the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group was able to offer the customer tailor-made concepts. The added value strategy which started in previous years contributed to a high service level and a growing share of deliveries with material treatments.

Thanks to the dedication, professionalism and entrepreneurial spirit of its employees, the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group can look back on a strong and successful 2008 despite the changing market conditions. The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group makes continued investment in its employees a priority. Attention is devoted to setting up and implementing development programs, such as e learning, trainee development and management development.


Outlook

The Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group expects that 2009 will be a lean year on the demand side with uncertainty about price developments. Turnover and net result will consequently decline in 2009 after five years of growth and record results. The company wants to retain its core competencies and leading market positions, and, where possible, reinforce them by focusing closely on the areas in which it excels, such as purchasing, sales, distribution, and logistics.

In 2009 the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group will mark the fact that the company has been in existence for 85 years. The company has come this far because its employees, together with management, have contributed consistently with dedication, devotion, and commitment. Retaining employees continues to be an important objective for 2009, a challenge in the current, difficult market conditions.

Because the Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group has been able to work carefully on the robustness of the company in the last few years, it faces the future with confidence. Even when market conditions are less favorable, the company continues to put long-term continuity above short-term returns, and can therefore continue be the powerful link between supplier and customer.


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 all industrial sectors. The company was founded in 1924. The Group currently has about forty locations throughout Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North America.

For further information, contact:
Van Leeuwen Pipe and Tube Group, Corporate Communications Department
Ingrid den Hartog, tel.: +31(0)78 6252332, e-mail cc@vanleeuwen.nl
Petra van Zandvoort, tel.: +31(0)78 6252321, e-mail cc@vanleeuwen.nl
www.vanleeuwen.com


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