Belgium-based stalwart, Bekaert, renowned for its expertise in steel cord and wire manufacturing, faces a disheartening dip in sales revenues in the first half of the year. Consolidated sales revenues totalling €2.32 billion reflect an 8.2% decline year-on-year, attributing the downturn to decreased sales volumes and the deleterious impact of exchange rate fluctuations. This confluence of factors has led to a seven percent decrease in EBITDA, which now stands at €317 million. While a glimmer of hope lies in the marginally improved EBITDA margin of 13.7% compared to 13.5% in the first half of 2022, the company braces for a challenging journey ahead.In the face of adversity, Bekaert remains steadfast in its resolve to navigate the competitive and challenging landscape that looms over the second half of the year. The anticipated persistence of difficult conditions calls for an agile and strategic approach to steer through uncertainties that cloud the horizon.A pivotal development on the horizon is the disposal of Bekaert's Steel Wire Solutions businesses in Chile and Peru, a crucial step in streamlining operations. The impending closure of this venture in the second half of the year signifies a transformational moment for the company, setting the stage for a renewed focus on core competencies.