CHICAGO General Cable views its prospects as bright
following a year in which it made five major acquisitions.
The 169-year-old company, which once supplied Samuel Morse, is
today at the leading edge of fabricating the material that
accelerates data communication, signals factory machinery and
feeds global energy grids, executives reported during their
March 26 investor day.
General Cables total 2013 volume will range from 1.4
billion to 1.5 billion pounds, with about half of that copper
and half aluminum, chief financial officer Brian J. Robinson
He noted that about 350 million to 400 million pounds of that
total will come from the companys five 2012 acquisitions,
including Alcan Cable North America and Alcan Cable China (
amm.com, Dec. 4
Wire and cable represent about 65 percent of the worlds
demand for copper, president and chief executive officer
Gregory B. Kenny said, noting healthy demand from Latin
America, Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Emerging
economies are a big part of our story, Kenny said.
But General Cable also has decades-long customer relationships
in the United States, and the company expects business there to
The biggest driver for us is construction (building
wire), and we see the construction cycle begin(ing) to kick
back in again, led by North America, he said.
General Cable has diversified its applications and customer
base substantially over the past dozen years. Sample products
allow high-speed networking, actuating a robotic welder on a
factory floor or broadcasting the Super Bowl. Were
in all those places, Kenny said.
He also noted that cars today use three to four times more
cable than they once did. Cable is in about every part of
the economy, he said. Industries served by the company
include construction, infrastructure, fiber optics, mining,
nuclear, energy, transportation and medical, among others.
Looking ahead, Kenny believes that Europe will likely fare
worse this year than last, but he noted that the company
think(s) it is bottoming.
North America is a different story. North America, even
without a construction recovery, without a big utility spend
except on transmission, has been a star, he said. The
company expects the Americas to generate about $4.5 billion in
2013, Kenny said.
In addition, Kenny expects a terrific return on
investment from Alcan Cable. Alcans team
knows a great deal about aluminum melting and forming, really
elevating our whole game, he said.
Highland Heights, Ky.-based General Cable operates 57 factories
employing 14,000 people in 26 countries and sells into at least
100 nations, Kenny said. Its annual sales run to about $7