Domzale, 19 January (STA) - Paints and coatings group Helios opened on Wednesday two new production and sales centres and a production plant, the investments totaling EUR 14m. The company hopes to improve its competitiveness through new investments and to make it among the top ten European coatings makers.
The group has invested EUR 4m into the new 2,400 square metre car paints centre and EUR 7.5m into a 3,500 square metre water-based coatings plant near Domzale.
According to Helios chairman Uros Slavinec, the car repair programme is strategically the most promising programme of the group and has made up 13% of the group's total sales in 2010.
Slavinec expects a 10-15% increase in sales in the programme, which includes high-added-value and high-price products.
The centre comprises of R&D, sales and educational facilities for the car repair programme and will also become a learning centre for partners and distributors.
A 1,270 square metre metal coatings centre worth EUR 2.5m was meanwhile opened near Medvode, joining two previous metal coatings facilities in Slovenia on a single location. This will increase the company's efficiency in the metal coatings programme, which contributes 12% to the group's total sales.
Economy Minister Darja Radic, who attended the opening, pointed out that Slovenia has very successful, competitive and innovative companies that know how to make it on the global market and one of them is Helios, which knows one has to invest even in a time of crisis.
Helios already has plans for new investments, as the crisis seems to be loosening, especially in the EU, where the group exports a third of its products, while encouraging signals are also coming from eastern Europe, Slavinec said.
The group around Helios employs 2,600 people in over 30 companies in 17 countries and is already one of the 15 biggest coatings makers in Europe, selling its products in 45 countries around the world.
In 2010, the group increased its sales by 14% over a year before and a 10% growth in revenues is projected for 2011, accompanied by an increase in net profit if the situation on the raw materials market does not aggravate further.