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Business development and status of the company 2012/2013

May 2013

During the business year 2012, the economic situation in Europe failed to stabilize. Initial hopes that we might see the economy revitalize in early 2013 have not materialized. The economic landscape in Europe is still characterized by uncertainty and unused capacities. Within this context, in terms of stability Germany is still rather well off.

Currently, global steel production exceeds steel consumption. In Europe, it will become necessary to reduce excess capacities and adjust production facilities to match present and future demand. Technical innovations will trigger new material types and grades as well as unprecedented technical requirements. The automobile industry, which is likely to undergo major changes in terms of engineering and design, may serve as an example here. In the next few years, the distribution sector will go through a streamlining process involving closures, structural changes and reorganization. The resulting market adjustment will provide the well positioned and healthy companies in the trading and storage sector with new chances, opportunities and potential for development. The steel trade has a future.

In 2012, BEPRO was able to achieve a good business result. We have reduced our business activities in those markets which we consider risky due the currently problematic situation. We have given intelligent risk management priority over growing sales. Purchase and sales prices remained almost unchanged in 2012, with a slight downwards tendency towards the year end. The problem with large-scale projects is that they often get stuck in the pipeline because of financing difficulties and political reasons. However, we are very positive that the next few years will see the implementation of several large projects with us being involved as a supplier.

During several decades of business, we have become a recognized steel distributor for a growing number of customers inside and outside Europe. We owe this to our comprehensive and wide portfolio and our excellent service and supply proficiency. This is the reason for our constantly good business results. In 2013, after selling our storage facilities in Essen, we will be concentrating all our storage and trading activities in Gelsenkirchen.

Construction activities will be completed by the end of 2013. We will then have 30,000 square meters of storage area and 900 square meters of office space. All storage facilities will feature the same high standard of state-of-the-art crane, machining and sawing equipment. We are convinced that this investment will pave the way for further growth.

We are known to be flexible experts for specialities. As such, we will add even more products to our supply and storage range. We are confident that this will further expand our customer base. We want our customers to get from us that which they struggle to get elsewhere.

The first four months of 2013 turned out better than expected. This gives reason for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, we expect the economic situation to remain volatile and weak for some time. This makes any decent forecast impossible in the current situation. We can be sure that there will be a turnaround, we simply do not know when.