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Sava Tires Posts EUR 14.3m Net Profit in 2010, Announces Name Change

Kranj, 28 June (STA) - The Kranj-based Sava Tires, owned by tire giant Goodyear, posted revenues of EUR 374m in 2010, finishing the year with a net profit of EUR 14.3m. The company announced at a press conference Tuesday it would change its name on 1 July to Goodyear Dunlop Sava Tires and that extensive investments will continue.

Sava Tires director Thierry Villard told the press conference that the Kranj production plant was operating above the Goodyear average, which has 55 production plants and 72,000 employees around the world.

In its 13-year history and after EUR 170m of investments, Sava Tires has become one of the most successful companies in Slovenia and the leading tire maker in SE Europe, he said.

Its 1,400 employees have produced over 7.12bn tires, mainly for the markets of former Yugoslavia and Albania, with the Slovenian market leading in both the distance travelled and in the number of cars per capita.

According to the tire maker's financial director Stefan Hourau, the company's revenues rose by 25% in 2010 over the year before and net profit grew by 28%.

Investments in the plant were also considerably higher last year, as production needed to be ramped up. If the company's market continues to grow, a new production plant in Slovenia may also be needed, Hourau stressed.

Villard, who has been heading Sava Tires since last year, believes that renaming the Kranj-based company after 13 years as Sava Tires will be a new milestone in the successful development.

He says that the new name will make the company more recognisable by including all of Goodyear's brands, while also bringing into line with other Goodyear Dunlop companies in Europe.

Villard reiterated that Goodyear sees Slovenia's advantages in highly qualified labour force, good infrastructure and a good position for entering the markets of SE Europe.

Foreign investors would like to see more flexibility and less red tape in Slovenia, but the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages, Villard assessed, adding that Goodyear will continue investing in Slovenia.

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