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Castingpar gives itself the means to supply Safran and Airbus

By 14/12/2022November 29th, 2023News

L’Echo, le 13 décembre 2022. Michel Lauwers.

The Walloon precision foundry raises €5 million to finance growth with a strong focus on the aerospace industry.

Orders from the aerospace sector are pouring in for the Walloon group Castingpar, which operates two high-precision foundries, Settas in Charleroi and Précimétal in Seneffe. In particular, it will be supplying Safran Aerobooster with titanium parts for the manufacture of LEAP engine compressors for the A320 Neo and Boeing 737 Max aircraft. It has also signed direct orders for Airbus: again in titanium, these parts will be used to assemble jet engine pylons in Toulouse for the A320 and A350. Both orders will be supplied by Settas, Castingpar’s subsidiary specialising in the manufacture of titanium parts.

Titanium is a metal with properties that are highly valued by the aerospace industry,” stresses CEO Philippe Hoste. “It is very light, does not corrode and offers an attractive cost/benefit ratio. It will also be used in new-generation engines, including electric models.

Castingpar has just raised €5 million in shares and loans.

These are long-cycle markets: it takes around nine to twelve months from signature to delivery. That’s why producers like Castingpar need substantial working capital. The group has just raised some €5 million, in shares and debt. Existing shareholders have subscribed to the capital increase, as has a new partner in the form of SRIW. Although the shares held by each party remain confidential, it is known that the Walloon public holding company will hold 8.5% of Castingpar’s capital after the operation. The other shareholders are, as a reminder, the French fund Ciclad, the Belgian fund Profinpar and the Anglo-American fund Adaxtra Capital, as well as the management.

“These resources will enable us to finance our future working capital requirements, as we are expecting significant growth, particularly at Settas,” explained Philippe Hoste, after a tour of the foundry’s facilities by Walloon Economy Minister Willy Borsus on Tuesday.

80 new jobs

On the strength of these new orders, the group expects to double its sales by 2025 to around €40 million. At the same time, it is expected to take on 80 new staff (20 have already been recruited this year), bringing its total workforce from 220 at the end of last year to 300 by the end of 2025.

Of course, there are still a few challenges along the way, and not the least. Energy and raw material prices are still rising sharply,” points out Philippe Hoste. Following the outbreak of war in Ukraine and the embargo on Russia, titanium prices have soared – Russia accounts for around 50% of the world’s production of this metal. We hope that in the medium term, these prices will return to reasonable levels. This will no doubt depend on the resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.”

Energy prices alone already pose a tricky competitive problem. On the markets, Castingpar is up against American competitors, among others, who currently enjoy much lower prices for gas, oil and electricity.

We have the know-how, the markets and the potential, and we didn’t make any redundancies during the pandemic crisis,” sums up the CEO. But we have this challenge ahead of us, plus that of wage costs, with 8% indexation this year, plus next January’s.” Who said that entrepreneurship was a long, quiet river?