This year, the Group’s operating result was positive, i.e. €1.74 million, compared to last year, when a loss of €375,000 was reported.Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) amounted to €6.86 million (€4.88 million in 2011), while the consolidated net profit after taxes amounted to €1.35 million (€0.75 million in 2011).
In 2012, the growth trend in value added per employee continued and reached a figure of €29,133 or 4% more than the year before and 54% more than in 2009.
“Despite fierce global competition and pressures to cut prices and extend payment deadlines, we have managed to improve our operations. We have succeeded in raising the prices of our products by 7% and total revenues by 2%,” said Andrej Božič, the anaging Director of Steklarna Hrastnik d.o.o. “This remarkable leap in business operations was achieved by introducing new products and marketing methods, developing technology, modifying the human resource strategy and investing in state-of-the-art production equipment that enables Steklarna Hrastnik to produce one of the purest glasses in the world,” also stressed Božič. Andrej Božič has been running Steklarna Hrastnik since the beginning of 2010.
In marketing, Steklarna Hrastnik managed to move all three programmes – special container glass, tableware glass and lighting glass – upmarket. On the global market – i.e. the company exports 96% of its production – Steklarna Hrastnik introduced new innovative products that are marketed under its own trademark. These products are Speak, Grip it and Lady Mug as well as High Glass bottles.
HR development is one of the keys to successful business operations, which is why Steklarna Hrastnik places a great deal of attention to employees. The company was the leading partner in the Steklar Competence Centre project, the finalist of the 2012 Zlata Nit best employer competition, where it was presented with a special award for restructuring the company, and is the holder of the Family Friendly Enterprise certificate.
Investments in the development of technology and production modernisation are closely intertwined with the company’s business strategy, as the quality of products, the possibility of niche production and short delivery periods represent the vital competitive advantages of the glass-manufacturing company from Hrastnik.
In March, Steklarna Hrastnik realised its by far most important investment and successfully started up its new, 7.5-million-euro-worth G furnace. The G furnace will enable further development of the Vitrum Business Unit, raising its rate of return and, consequently, preserving jobs. In cooperation with its supplier, Steklarna Hrastnik opted for oxy-fuel technology.
This technology uses pure oxygen rather than air. The furnace provides stable heating of the glass, since burners are placed transversely to the glass, thus making the temperature in the furnace a constant one. On account of this and different chemical reactions taking place due to the application of pure oxygen instead of air, the quality of the glass produced by Steklarna Hrastnik will further improve. Energy efficiency will also increase. The company plans to consume around two thirds of the energy used so far for a kilogram of produced glass. The thermal energy from the furnace will be used for heating greywater and the administrative building. Furthermore, the management of the furnace has been made simpler, with a higher level of automated control and the control system placed right next to the furnace, so that the supervisor is able to monitor the melt in the furnace at all times. By using pure oxygen, nitrogen oxide emissions will reduce by as many as 80%. The construction of the new furnace lasted almost two months and involved the cooperation of 70 employees and 295 outworkers, while the capacity of the furnace reaches 80 tonnes of glass per day.
Future investments will focus on enhancing energy efficiency, with the next vital investment planned within the coming two years, i.e. the overhaul of a 120-tonne furnace at the Special Business Unit.