During FY 2014, we have successfully pursued our strategic process of building a network of Distribution hubs, together with processing facilities of Service Centres, with the view to extending our global geographic coverage and expanding a diversified product range.
This objective has been reached through an acquisition process in those countries where we have matched the opportunity of merging existing entities into the Duferco Group, to assist market and product development of our trading activities. This will enable us to reach local clients with our commercial, logistics and financial support, essential to overcome local currency fluctuations.
The overall tonnage handled by the Duferco Distribution network was 3,383,000 metric tons in FY 2014, the number of clients has increased and the product mix is better balanced. Our focus on serving end users and OEM clients in key sectors, such as automotive, mining and energy, is definitely more effective.
The effectiveness has proved its validity, as it has played an essential role in supporting our global trading activities. As previously mentioned, Hebei Iron & Steel Co (HBIS) has established a strategic partnership with Duferco, with the view to promoting export sales and the distribution of a vast range of products around the world.
We look forward to continue building together with our supplying and purchasing partners a solid and reliable presence in the global steel market.