Volume 36, Issue 8, August 2001


Glaverbel Forecasts Productive First Half of 2001

Belgium’s Glaverbel SA expects to have an “excellent first half year,” and chief executive officer Luc Willame says he expects full-year net profit to rise by at least 20 percent.globupdatepic1

At a recent shareholders meeting Willame said the year’s first quarter was very good, and the company is “continuing 2000’s developments, but the level of activity is now slowing down, especially in the German building product markets.”

Within Glaverbel’s building division, results of the slowdown will most likely be contained over the year as a whole “with prices stabilizing at a favorable level” due to the balance between the demand and production capacity of glass.

Willame said new automotive glass production facilities in the second half of 2001 will elevate Glaverbel’s position in its various markets. New facilities comprise a fourth float line in Moustier, Belgium; in the Czech Republic, a laminated glass line for large sheet at Retenice; a fire-resistant glass production unit at Olovi; extended mirror production capacity at Kryry; and a new automotive glass line at Bor in Russia.

In other news, Glaverbel merged the activities of its Splintex and AS Technology units. The new entity will be called Splintex Europe.

According to information from the company, AS Technology began in 1991 by Glaverbel and Asahi (which owns 55 percent of Glaverbel) to make laminated glass with advanced technical characteristics. Splintex makes tempered glass. According to Glaverbel, the move is part of its three-year plan to improve the performance of its automotive division. 

OM Group Files with U.S. Trade Commission to Acquire Degussa Unit

OM Group (OMG) has filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to acquire all operations of dmce Degussa Metals Catalysts Cerdec (dmc2), a unit of Germany-based Degussa AG.

According to OMG’s statement, through its most recent filings, the FTC will consider the acquisitions of dmc2’s metals management, automotive catalysts, fuel cells, precious metals chemistry, technical materials and jewelry and electroplasting businesses by OMG.

OMG also said the FTC will consider its proposal to give dmc2’s electronic materials, performance pigments, glass systems and Cerdec divisions to the Ferro Corp.

Vitro Ponders Possible Investment in China

In hopes of globalchinabolstering its presence in Asia, as of June 12 Mexico-based glassmaker Grupo Vitro was negotiating a possible investment in China. “We are still in negotiations. It would be 60 percent for glass exports and 40 percent for China’s national market,” Federico Sada, Vitro chief executive officer, said of the project. “That would give us a  competitive advantage in all of Asia to position ourselves in other countries.” 

In related news, in April, Vitro had purchased a 60-percent stake in the Spanish company Cristalglass and said the move was aimed at boosting its position in the European market.

Asahi Glass Expects Operating Profit to Rise in 2001 and 2002

Asahi Glass Co. Ltd. of Japan expects group-operating profit to rise to 120 billion yen ($96 million US) in the year that started April 1, 2001, from a record 110 billion yen estimated last year.

According to president Shinya Ishizu, sales for glass cathode-ray tubes, which are used in wide-screen televisions and monitors, would slow because of sluggish demand and rising competition. Other display products, such as liquid crystal displays used in many portable computers are expected to do well.
In addition, Asahi has unveiled a three-year management plan, saying it expects sales to rise to 1.4 trillion yen from 1.33 trillion yen the year before. Return on equity is expected to rise 6 percent from an estimated 3.6 percent. 

Asahi says it is also aiming for 160 billion yen in operating profit for the business year to March 2004, 45 percent more than its 110 billion yen estimate for the year just ended March 31.


Tamglass Expand to China

Tamglass Ltd. of Tampere, Finland, has announced the establishment of a safety glass machine-manufacturing unit in China, which will be located in Tianjin. Tamglass said it already has more than 100 safety glass production line and machine deliveries to China, and the new safety glass regulations and building designs have increased the demand for tempered glass in China. 

The company’s Chinese expansion puts Tamglass facilities on four continents. “Strengthening Tamglass’ presence in China is a significant part of Tamglass’ strategy to expand the regional production and after-sales network in the main market areas,” said Tamglass president and chief executive officer Pentti Yliheljo. “China, as a large country, represents a significant market for safety glass machines. Local manufacturing facilitates a cost effectiveness and a possibility to offer products in the local currency."

The first deliveries fron the new plant are expected to begin in fall 2001.


Goldray Names One of Canada's Fastest Growing Companies by Profit Magazine

Based in Alberta, Goldray, Inc. was recently named one of 20 manufacturing companies recognized by Profit magazine for "Profit 100-Canada's Fastest Growing Companies."

"We are very proud of our accomplishments and continue to experience and build for rapid growth," said Greg Saroka, president and chief executive officer. "We are also proud of our ability to generate value for our shareholders."

According to a news release, Goldray was recognized for its, 1,067-percent revenue growth rate from 1995 to 2000.



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