LOTTE Buys Belenco Majority Ownership

UIWANG, South Korea -- LOTTE Advanced Materials more than tripled its production capacity for Radianz® quartz surfaces in January with the acquisition of Turkish manufacturer Belenco.

The $111.4-million deal gives the Korean company 72.5% ownership of Belenco, which operates two Breton SpA material-production lines near Izmir, Turkey. The contract is subject to approval by the Turkish government’s Competition Authority.

Belenco’s production lines can produce 230,000+ slabs annually. LOTTE’s own plant in Korea currently manufactures 90,000 slabs per year. LOTTE entered the hard-surfaces industry in April 2016 when it acquired Samsung Group’s multi-faceted SDI Chemical.

Caesarstone Expects Good Finish for 2019

The Israeli manufacturer of quartz surfaces remained upbeat about this year as it offered mixed results for 2018 to U.S. financial analysts in February.

The company’s 2019 guidance – its prediction of overall results – showed worldwide revenue between $580 million-$600 million, and adjusted earnings at $72 million-$80 million.

Caesarstone ended last year with $575.9 million in revenue, a 2% decline. U.S. revenues for Caesarstone last year totaled $239.2 million, down 2.5%.

The company expects a glut of Chinese quartz-surfaces imports will slow the U.S. market for the first half of 2019, but lower inventories and company improvements will yield better results for the second half.