Steel Beats the Odds

How an Old World steelmaker is adapting to the New Economy

With sky-high labor costs, a 35-hour workweek, and a surging currency, France hardly seems the kind of place where an export-focused manufacturer might prosper. Yet specialty steelmaker Vallourec, based just outside Paris, is not only beating the odds, it's performing so well that it landed the top spot on this year's European BW50 list.

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