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Iskraemeco Plans to Operate without Loss in Coming Years

Kranj, 06 January (STA) - Electricity meters maker Iskraemeco, which generated in 2009 EUR 73m in turnover, ending the year without profit or loss, expects a similar result for 2010. In the following two years the company will focus on the markets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Executive director for finance and management board member Abdulah Bahaa told the press in Kranj on Wednesday that the sales of electricity meters would drop this year by 50% because of changes on the European market.

Chief executive director Dieter Brunner added that the conditions on the market had changed considerably as Europe was making a transition from standard electromechanical metres to smart meters, the use of which is encouraged by the latest EU energy package.

According to financial planning director Andraz Brodnjak, Iskraemeco invested in 2009 a total of EUR 3.5m, and has repaid EUR 10.6m of debts to banks and EUR 12.5m of obligations to suppliers since 2007.

With 130 researchers, the company has one of the biggest R&D departments in Slovenia, with the main guideline being an independent concept of meters, devices and systems measuring and calculating electricity consumption, the managers said.

Iskraemeco employs 1,180 people in Slovenia, with 680 working a 32-hour working week, of which 100 were put on three-month forced leave in January. The remaining employees work 40-hour weeks. The company also employs 380 people abroad.

Brunner said that the government crisis measures were helpful, but added that this was not a long-term solution. He also announced lay-offs once the production of electromechanical metres is discontinued.

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