Mežica, 30 August (STA) - Tab, the Mežica-based maker of starter batteries for cars and industrial batteries, is mulling a partnership to branch out into the production of lithium-ion batteries of the kind used for electric cars. The decision will be made by the end of the year, CEO Bogomir Auprih told the press on Friday.
The company would partner with foreign companies to launch production, presumably in Slovenia, where it has its main production location, according to Auprih.
The news comes a little more than a year after Tab announced a tie-up with South African battery maker Metair. The prospective partner pulled out in August 2018, but the company continued to look for strategic partners until earlier this summer.
Tab is among top ten battery producers in the world and ranks sixth among manufacturers of industrial-grade batteries.
Its main product are lead-acid batteries, an old though still widely used technology. The move appears designed to secure the company's future while it is still profitable.
Tab posted a group net profit of EUR 31.6 million for 2018, up almost 7% year-on-year, on sales that increased 2% from the year before to EUR 336.4 million.
The core Slovenian company saw sales grow 4% to EUR 280.5 million and posted a net profit of EUR 26.4 million, a 17% increase.
On the back of record results, the shareholders confirmed today a dividend payout totalling EUR 23.3 million; EUR 26.4 million of the distributable results has been allocated for reserves.
Employing a workforce of over 1,300, Tab is owned by former and current managers and employees. CEO Auprih personally holds a 16% stake.