Celje, 23 June (STA) - Vivapen, a Slovenian producer of pens, roller ball pens and inks, increased its sale revenue by 7% to EUR 7.5 million in 2018. Net profit dropped by EUR 136,000 to EUR 323,000, but director Petra Melanšek is happy with the results.
Melanšek told the STA the drop was a result of higher labour costs due to new hirings and purchases of new machines as well as upgrades, automation and robotisation.
The Celje-based family business which employs more than 90 workers produces over 1,500 various products, and generates over 98% of its sales revenue abroad.
Germany remains its main market, accounting for almost 80% of all revenue, but Great Britain and the US are also important.
At the beginning of this year the company managed to enter the big Chinese market.
As Malenšek explained, the Chinese government decided a few years ago that children in first grades of primary schools in some areas must use pens.
Vivapen concluded a contract with rubber company Greenwill to sell its pens in China, she added.
The contract was signed for 200,000 pens to be sold in 2019, said Malenšek, noting their pens are in a higher price class because they are made in Europe.
For now, Vivapen plans to sell its pens in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Earlier this month it received one of the family business awards of excellence at the Ernst & Young's Family Business Summit in Monaco.