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Sava Conglomerate Celebrates 90th Anniversary

Brdo pri Kranju, 23 September (STA) - Sava, a conglomerate focusing on rubber production, tourism and real estate, celebrated the 90th anniversary on Wednesday with a ceremony at Brdo pri Kranju revolving around the history and success of the conglomerate.

The long-standing company started as a small rubber company Atlanta established in Kranj on 22 September 1920. It has since evolved into a corporation with 30 companies and 2,300 employees.

At the ceremony, which saw respected names from the business world in attendance, Sava chairman Janez Bohoric said he believed the group was strong and that the story of success would continue regardless of the difficulties brought by the crisis.

Bohoric said he put his faith in staff at Sava, who with their youth and know-how form the backbone of this established business.

He also said he was certain that the path of knowledge-based development was the right one. This was echoed by keynote speaker Ljubljana University Chancellor Radovan Stanislav Pejovnik.

Pejovnik expressed his appreciation of Sava, saying it was a complex system, which had for decades known how to tackle problems. It has organised its own development goals and teams, and never put profit above everything else, he added.

Touching on the loss in the first half of 2010, caused by writedowns related to insolvent hardware retailer Merkur, Bohoric said that one bad choice in the Sava portfolio was not a reason for alarm. He said that Sava's core business continued to be profitable.

"Sava found itself in tight situations before, and it only grew stronger," he told the ceremony.

After selling its tyre division to US company Goodyear in 1997, Sava diversified into financial services and tourism.

The conglomerate currently holds an important stake in Gorenjska banka bank and runs hotel chains in the northeast of the country and the lakeside resort of Bled.

It generated a net profit of EUR 27.4m in 2009 on sales revenues of EUR 172.9m.

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