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Company News, 2006-03-08, 02:01 PM

ThyssenKrupp Services steaming ahead with its materials services in Asia

ThyssenKrupp Services AG, Düsseldorf, Germany, is branching out globally: in Asia, the services segment of the ThyssenKrupp Group presently generates sales of around $140 million in materials services with a local workforce of several hundred. Medium-term plans envisage a doubling of Asian sales.

In Shanghai, one of China's most exciting economic regions, the materials services provider ThyssenKrupp Materials (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. has now officially started business. The company specializes in stocking and value-adding processing of chiefly nonferrous metals and plastics. "Nowhere in the world is demand for materials and industrial products growing as rapidly as in China. Given this dynamic scenario, we intend to increase our commitment," comments Joachim Limberg, Executive Board member of ThyssenKrupp Services, on the direction being taken. In the medium term, ThyssenKrupp Materials, Shanghai, is aiming at annual sales of $120 million.

ThyssenKrupp Services has a 70-percent stake in this new joint venture. Holding a 30-percent stake, the materials trading company Leong Jin Corp. Pte. Ltd., headquartered in Singapore, is its partner. Says Limberg: "With our associate we have an expert on the Chinese economy at our side, with whom for years now we have a successful cooperation on other Far Eastern markets, too." Leong Jin, in which ThyssenKrupp Services also holds 30 percent, generated sales of around $80 million in 2005 and has branches in Malaysia, China, and Thailand.

Warehousing and processing capacities in South Korea extended

ThyssenKrupp Metals Co., Ltd. in Seoul, South Korea, is expanding. Within recent months the warehouse area has been appreciably enlarged from 4,000 to more than 10,000 square meters. The company mainly offers nonferrous metals, wear-resistant sheet/plate, and tool steel. The value-adding capacities, too-especially for the processing of aluminum-are to be further extended to respond even more rapidly to customer wishes and provide maximum service quality.

In recent years, 40 employees have almost doubled sales to presently $46 million. "In South Korea, we aim at sales of $100 million in the medium to long term. To this end, however, we have to further raise our services share of the business," states Joachim Limberg. In 1979, the company was founded by a local partner and then contributed to a joint venture in 1999, in which ThyssenKrupp Services holds a stake of 60 percent.

Added capacity in Thailand

Also investments in Thailand, one of Asia's regions with the most dynamic steel consumption: in the metropolis of Bangkok, ThyssenKrupp Services is presently further expanding its company Thai-German Special Steel Center Co., Ltd. Founded in 1994 and run with a local partner as a joint venture (ThyssenKrupp's stake: 70 percent), the company focuses on the warehousing of tool and specialty engineering steel as well as nonferrous metals-aluminum and copper. In downstream processing, the focal point is the production of plastic mold frames.

A current investment is a new heat-treatment plant to further broaden the tool and specialty engineering steel business. And by widening the materials range and introducing a new location/logistics concept, steps are underway to accelerate the development into a full-range company as well as to have access to the burgeoning automotive industry. The Thai-German Special Steel Center has a workforce of 150 employees in the warehousing, services and processing centers at three locations.

Further growth planned

For ThyssenKrupp Services, Asia is an exciting growth market. "These are the first steps and we intend to grow further," Limberg emphasizes with respect to the company's objective to double sales in the medium-term in this region. "Further acquisitions or joint ventures are on the agenda. We are also increasing our focus on developing closer networking opportunities between ThyssenKrupp Materials NA (the materials services arm of ThyssenKrupp Services in North America) and the materials services operations in Europe in order to ensure that we can become a one-stop global supplier for our customers' material management and supply chain needs, by providing access to services and resources worldwide."

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