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Bell hits 20pc share of European market

PLANT

BELL Equipment has reached its target of a 20 per cent market share in Europe for its articulated dump trucks, raising its share from 6 per cent two years ago.

Chief executive Gary Bell announced at the firm's interim results that Bell claimed a record turnover of £122 million for the six months to June 30 2003, a 32 per cent rise on the same period last year.

Mr Bell said the company would offset the effect of a stronger rand with the commissioning of its German assembly plant in the fourth quarter of this year. This would allow it to source more components from eastern Europe and reduce shipping time for both its Mercedes engines and the final product to Europe and the US.

He added that the use of the plant would free up £8 million of working capital by the middle of next year.