Although it considers that the long-term outlook for the cable industry is very positive, thanks to a number of powerful trends in today’s society, including urbanisation in developing countries, growing requirements for interconnection and the development of electrical infrastructure, and the global expansion of renewable energy generation, prominent cable manufacturer Nexans believes that the short-term outlook is more problematic, and has taken steps to address this change.  
It expects growth to remain lacklustre in Europe (other than for certain niche products), and the recovery in the US markets is likely to stay muted. Two thirds of the forecast growth in its markets for the next two to three years is expected to come from emerging countries.
Nexans’ exposure to Europe and the USA of almost 60% and the persistent slowdown in South America and the Asia-Pacific region have weighed on the group’s performance over the last 18 months, and this trend is set to continue during the rest of 2014. In view of this situation, Nexans now forecasts sales to decrease by around 4% on an organic basis in the third quarter of 2014, and growth to be flat for the year as a whole. Operating margin for full-year 2014 is expected, at this point, at a level similar to that of 2013 at 140 million euros.
The new measures start with a ‘change in corporate culture through a new governance structure and new operating methods’. A new board has been appointed led by new CEO Arnaud Poupart-Lafarge, who holds all of the group’s operational and functional powers and responsibilities, and a ‘leaner’ management board of five other members – Pascal Portevin, Christopher Guerin, Dirk Steinbrink, Nicolas Badré and Anne-Marie Cambourieu, chosen for their ‘tried and tested operational experience, and a focus on driving performance and transforming the group’. Frédéric Vincent remains chairman of the board.  
The group’s strategic objectives have been stated as regaining its competitiveness by turning around businesses in difficulty, drastically cutting costs and optimising working capital, strengthening its leadership in its four markets, by stimulating innovation, and pro-actively managing its portfolio in order to support and speed up growth for highly profitable businesses and transform or sell lower-performing businesses.
It has set itself the objective of strengthening its position in four growth markets: energy transmission and distribution, the development of fossil and renewable energies, transport networks and the building market.