Company news – Belgian companies’ performance

A number of Belgian facilities of internationally renowned companies can boast excellent results in 1990.

Siemens Belgium increased sales by 13 % up to BEF 32 billion and profits by 9.5 %. Compaq Computers Belgium increased sales by 45 % up to BEF 1.5 billion and turned its losses of 1989 into profits in 1990, Commodore, which realizes 85 % of its sales in Europe, posted a gain in sales of 63 % up to BEF 862 million, and Olivetti Belgium announced a gain of 10 % up to BEF 5.3 billion. The results of the three latter computer companies contrast with a worldwide market growth of 5.1 % in 1990, compared with 8 % in 1989,

Also Unisys Belgium appears as a bright star in a conglomerate otherwise besieged by a business downturn. The Belgian subsidiary improved its sales by 5 % up to BEF 5.5 billion, essentially attributable to its UNIX products, which increased by 43 %. Profits increased dramatically from BEF 58 million in 1989 to BEF 400 million in 1990, making it one of the most successful operations of Unisys in Europe.

Independently from the sale subsidiary Unisys also has in Seneffe, Belgium, its major European distribution center, which efficiently moves 8,000 m-tons of equipment, worth BEF 20 billion, around each year. The distribution center employs 100 people.

Japanese companies have grown increasingly confident in Belgium, finding in the country the suitably located and truly European neutral ground that will carry their corporation along on the 1992 train. Aisin A.W. invests BEF 4 billion in a gear box plant in Ghlin-Baudour and receives BEF 825 million in start-off support from the Walloon Region. This is Aisin’s second plant in Belgium.

Asahi Glass, already owner of the successful Belgian flat glass producer, Glaverbel, is expanding with a BEF 1 billion plant for high-tech glass products. Nissan has chosen the university town of Louvain-la-Neuve for its European research & experiment laboratory center. Daikin Industries is already manufacturing large air-conditioning equipment in its Ostend plant. it is now investing BEF 1.1 billion to enter production of small and mid-size air-conditioners. The company exports 95 % of its production, worth BEF 4 billion.

Samsonite Belgium, located in Oudenaarde, has become the European holding of the US travel-case manufacturer’s subsidiaries on the old continent. Carrying the duty to monitor all the European activities of the conglomerate, the Belgian company is in command of the largest part of the group since $ 205 million of sales take place in Europe, compared with $ 170 million in the US and $ 90 million in Japan.

The investment drive in the Belgian chemical industry goes on steadily: BASF is to invest BEF 70 billion over the next three years in Antwerp. The funds are earmarked for a new vapocracker and a large ethyiene/styrene production unit.

Another German company, the Deutsche Bundespost Telekom, Europe’s largest telephone service company with 250,000 employees and profits in 1990 of about $ 34 billion, has given in to the call from Brussels. it has opened its 4th office abroad in the Belgian capital because of the international traffic generated with important clients established in Belgium and because of the requirement of direct contact with the EEC institutions.

Belgium’s Cockerill Mechanical industries established in Seraing is long used to export itself. It has won in partnership with the Chinese Harbin Power Plant Equipment Company a contract worth BEF 2.7 billion to supply equipment to two power stations in Pakistan.

Medtronics had its European headquarters in Paris. When the lease expired, the French rents went up so much that it decided to move to Brussels. “Even after the moving costs, a new Brussels headquarters will save us 600 %.”

COPYRIGHT 1991 Embassy of Belgium

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group