Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) –Luvata, the maker of copper components for everything from solar panels to zippers, expects an almost 10 percent increase in sales this year thanks to demand in Asia.
The company should sell about 335,500 metric tons of copper-based products, compared with 305,000 tons last year, John Peter Leesi, chief executive officer, said Aug. 18. That compares with 20 percent growth last year from 255,000 tons in 2009.
"We have a recovery and overall we will have growth in our copper deliveries and products based on copper," Leesi said in a phone interview from the company's headquarters in Brentford, west London, England. "We have solid growth in China, South East Asia, and so on," he said, pointing to "fairly strong support" from the residential construction, industrial production and electrical engineering sectors.
Global copper consumption may rise 3.9 percent this year, slowing from a 7.8 percent growth last year, according to Barclays Capital. Copper for three-month delivery reached a record $10,190 a ton in February on the London Metal Exchange, falling 12 percent since then on concerns sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the U.S., and a slowdown in China, will dent demand for industrial metals.
"There is a recovery that will go on, but there is uncertainty and cautiousness in the market with regards to investments," Leesi said. About 29 percent of the company's sales are from Asia.
"We have a little bit of a softening," Leesi said referring to the third quarter. "In the fourth quarter we're going to see some improvement again."
Luvata's sales figures include deliveries from the company's rolled products division up until Aurubis AG's deal to buy the unit is completed in Sept. 1. The division has an annualized output of 160,000 tons of copper and copper-alloy products, according to a company statement. Following the sale, Luvata expects to use about 200,000 tons of copper a year.
Copper rose $6.25, or 0.1 percent, to $8,831.25 a ton by 11:08 a.m. on the LME.
"We remain optimistic," Leesi said. "We do not necessarily believe that the worries and problems that we see in the financial markets have to translate in any type of recession."