Velenje, 11 March (STA) - The group around household appliance maker Gorenje reported a EUR 12.2m net loss for 2009 on Thursday. Group sales revenue reached EUR 1.2bn, which is an 11% decrease on the year before. Earnings before interest and tax dropped 24% to EUR 68.2m.
The negative bottom line of what is one of the flagships of Slovenia's economy come after a EUR 10.2m net profit in 2008.
The group's core company ended the year with a net loss of EUR 6.1m, compared to a EUR 12m profit in 2008. Sales revenue was down 23.2% to EUR 586.6m, earnings before interest and tax slumped by 53.7% to EUR 23m.
The supervisory board assessed that the management had responded to the difficult economic situation successfully and effectively.
While the final figures were negative for the first time in almost two decades, Gorenje managed to hold on to its market share in most markets, while also preserving productive jobs and thereby meeting the key goals for 2009, the company wrote.
CEO Franjo Bobinac agreed, while noting that "the crisis is not ending this year, although we recorded moderate growth in the first months compared to the same period last year". He explained that increasing unemployment in European countries is holding demand back.
Gorenje focused on securing a positive free cash flow last year, managing to get to EUR 33m - a EUR 78m improvement on 2008 - by putting money exclusively in development projects and through quality management of current assets.