Gauteng Business News

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STEEL: BSi Experiences 29% Growth, and Extends Footprint in Africa


Recent Gauteng Business News

BSi Steel’s recession-proof growth plan has seen the company become recognised as an industry-leading distributor of steel products, with revenues exceeding R1,8-billion.

BSi Steel has experienced a 29% increase in revenue during the past financial year, resulting in the JSE-listed company’s annual turnover reaching R 1,85-billion.

From humble beginnings in 1986, operating out of the backyard of a house in Mkondeni, Pietermaritzburg, BSi Steel today employs 617 staff members across Sub-Saharan Africa.

BSi Steel raised R100-million during its public offering when it listed on the JSE AltX in October 2007. Having emerged from a collection of small companies that had different product offerings, BSi Steel is now a unique group that offers a diverse product range, and is pleased to be part of the growth story of Southern Africa.

BSi Steel chairman William Battershill points out that the company’s cost base has increased by 37% to R186-million, which is in line with the overall growth plan. “Although the company’s overheads have increased ahead of the turnover growth, the planned infrastructural development - in both assets and staff - has put the group in a position to take advantage of new opportunities.”

As part of the company’s overall growth plan, which was implemented two years ago, BSi Steel invested in a 30 000 m2 central steel processing and distribution centre at Klipriver, in Midvaal. In addition to this, the company plans to establish retail outlets across Southern Africa to improve its geographical footprint.

“BSi Steel remains a growth company, capitalising on opportunities in South Africa, as well as the rest of the continent. The consolidation of the smaller companies within the group has created synergy for the BSi Steel brand, and all employees are now working towards a common goal - for continued product diversification that will further fuel the company’s growth,” says Battershill.

BSi Steel currently has four branches in South Africa, eight branches in Southern Africa and a newly-established branch in Accra, Ghana. The company boasts an extensive range of products, which are all compliant with internationally-recognised ISO 9001:2000 quality control standards. These include; roofing, processing, flat products, long products, tubing and cold formed sections.

Battershill adds that BSi Steel has three distribution divisions, namely: the bulk sales division, maxi merchant division and the express division.

“The bulk sales division offers clients an alternative to buying from the mill, with improved turnaround times and competitive prices. The division focuses on large volume businesses in the construction, mining and manufacturing industries.”

The maxi merchant division focuses on medium to large manufacturing, construction and mining companies that require reliability of supply, quick turnaround times and a degree of flexibility. “BSi Steel has dedicated maxi merchant divisions in Gauteng and Kwa-Zulu Natal,” he continues.

The express division is geared up to service customers in its immediate geographical area. The division offers a wide product range, with a high degree of service and flexibility to suit the requirements of its customer base.

Despite the fact that volatility in terms of steel demand and price has been challenging to manage, Battershill concludes by adding that he is confident that the strategies put in place by BSi Steel will enable the company to improve profitability on a consistent basis in the long-term.

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