The European pipe market’s recovery in 2010 was generally faster than what the Company had expected, resulting in improved production volume of TMK in Romania. At the beginning of last year sales growth was primarily motivated by a desire to restore the level of pipe inventory among major distributors, which fell in 2009. At the same time, demand from end users remained limited. Thereafter, the steady growth in shipments satisfied increasing demand from end users of pipe products for industrial use.

The largest contribution to sales growth in the European market was made by the segments of mechanical tubes and pipes for the automotive industry. Sales of line pipe and water and gas pipes remained at a low level due to insufficient market demand. As a result of these trends, sales by the European division grew by 48% in 2010 to 169 thousand tonnes compared to 114 thousand tonnes a year earlier.

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