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Nearly 4% sales growth due to global technology leadership
The worldwide number of incoming orders for the refractories division of the RHI group exceeded the figures the management budgeted in its business plan by more than 10% in the first quarter of 2002. This business plan is the basis and an essential component of the capital restructuring concept, thus representing an important indicator in the successful implementation of the concept.
In the steel segment, the incoming orders for refractories were maintained at the level of the previous year despite the clearly more difficult market situation – some signs indicate an improvement of the situation in Asia in South America. In the industrial segment, which comprises all client industries except the steel industry, the number of incoming orders increased by 15%.
This is mainly attributable to the glass and nonferrous metals segments. Especially in the nonferrous metals segment (e.g. aluminum, copper, nickel, lead) the company succeeded in increasing market share vis-à-vis local competitors due to its leading technological position. This was reflected in a 70% increase in incoming orders as compared to the same quarter of the previous year. In the glass business the level of the previous year was exceeded by 15%. In the cement/lime and environment/energy/chemicals sectors, the number of incoming orders remained stable at the high level of the previous year.
In terms of refractories sales volume, the world market leader RHI suffered a slight decline in the first quarter of 2002 as compared to the previous year (-3,5%). At the same, however, sales revenue rose by nearly 4%. This shows the positive development towards highermargin products, which is also reflected in a substantially increase in average revenue.