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Helios CEO Wants to More Than Double Revenue in Five Years

Ljubljana/Domžale, 24 April (STA) - The new Helios CEO Aleš Klavžar has announced that the Domžale-based company, which was recently sold to Austria's Ring International Holding (RIH), wants to increase revenue from EUR 400m to EUR 1bn and become one the five biggest coatings makers in Europe within five years. No additional layoffs are planned in Slovenia.

Klavžar said for Thursday's business daily Finance that one of the first tasks will be Helios's consolidation with Ring's coatings section.

Helios had EUR 316m in revenue last year, Ring's coatings department EUR 106m. "We need to get this under a single roof, Helios's roof, which will be the parent company seated in Domžale."

Klavžar argued that Helios and Ring were compatible when it comes to their markets. Thus the idea is not to go for expansion but for boosting sale in the pair's existing markets.

No additional cuts in the workforce are planned in Slovenia after a reduction by 150 to 1,300 last year, since production is to be expanded in Slovenia. The situation elsewhere will be clearer once a strategy is laid down. Wages remain unchanged, Klavžar said.

As to the dividends policy of the new owner, the CEO said that Ring's actions so far have proven it to be a strategic owner. He is convinced that dividends policy will be in line with the EUR 5bn revenue objective.

Klavžar argued that Helios, the first to get sold among the 15 companies put on the government's privatisation list, wants to serve as a model for Slovenian privatisation.

"We want to be an example by becoming, despite of the change in ownership, a company that is seated in Slovenia, that grows and can compete with the biggest coatings makers active in Europe."

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