Business News

Car Lighting Producer Reports EUR 21M in Profit, Announces Fresh Investment Drive

Ljubljana, 28 June (STA) - Hella Saturnus Slovenija, a maker of car lighting equipment owned by German company Hella, generated revenues of EUR 250m in 2010 and finished the year with EUR 21m in profit. A company official also announced a new expansion drive, for which the group is seeking state support.

Hella Saturnus General Manager Christoph Droste said 2010 made for another successful year for the company, which has increased sales by 2.5-fold since 2007, when it stood at EUR 90m.

In this time, the company has created 1,000 jobs and is planning to open more as part of a fresh five-year, EUR 60m investment drive, said Droste.

He announced that the company had launched talks with the Economy Ministry in a bid to obtain a subsidy from the state for the new projects.

The GM pointed out that Hella, a German automotive parts supplier, had not been viewed as a direct foreign investor when it acquired Saturnus because it had established a holding company in Slovenia for this purpose.

Saying it wanted fair treatment now, Droste said that a subsidy would be an important contribution to ensuring that the company remains competitive.

If it fails to obtain the subsidy, it would have to consider moving to countries with a more favourable business climate, such as the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania.

Droste pointed out that the Hella Saturnus plant in Ljubljana was not only a production facility but also an important development centre. The number of engineers in the department rose from 100 to 130 last year, while a further 45 would be take on if the company manages to obtain a subsidy.

Hella acquired a majority stake in Saturnus, a company established in 1921 which turned to automotive lighting production in 1948, in 1997.

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