Sogefi Filtration, Optotek, Willy Stadler and Schenker are the winners of this year's Invest Slovenia FDI Awards for best foreign-owned companies in their respective categories.
The awards were conferred by the SPIRIT Slovenia, public agency of the Republic of Slovenia for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Development and Investment.
For a decade, Invest Slovenia FDI Award recognises investors in strategic areas for the local economy, as well as investment projects that involve a high degree of innovation and creativity.
Foreign investors are in Slovenia for forty years or more but Slovenia is the best secret in Europe with the stress on secret. What we are trying to achieve also by giving away the InvestSlovenia FDI Award is to raise the profile of Slovenia as a location of choice for quality foreign investors.
Sogefi Filtration, a maker of oil and air filters mostly for the automotive industry, was honoured as the best employer. It was established back in 1993 and today it is a hundred per cent owned by Sogefi SpA from Italy. The Slovenian subsidiary is an aftermarket manufacturer of air and oil filters for passenger cars. The company has 160 employees, added value per employee is forty-two thousand euro, its sales amount to almost thirty million euros and the entire output of Sogefi Filtration is sold in international markets.
Sogefi Filtration recognises that its employees are its biggest asset. Mr. Šmit has recently said in an interview that he is particularly proud of his co-workers. The company lives with its people and an individual can do nothing, but when many individuals join forces, big results are achieved. The company enjoyed a twenty-six percent growth in 2014, which means that it invested heavily in training, logistics and equipment. The company expects to improve its profitability ratios for 2015 and expects that the new projects will boost earnings starting with 2016.
Optotek, an optics and laser specialist owned by Japanese conglomerate Canon, was awarded for its business results and its focus on development. The operating results of Optotek and its appetite for innovation have earned it the award for best operating results and business-driven development. The company was incorporated in 1990 and as mentioned earlier, the Polish subsidiary of the Japanese Canon Incorporated holds a seventy-three per cent equity stake. Optotek develops and manufactures and sells high level and sophisticated solutions for ophthalmology that give ophthalmologists excellent diagnostic and therapeutic tools. As other champions in their respective industries, Optotek is highly innovative small to medium size company with a leading market positions in its niche market internationally. With fifty-eight employees it earns seven million euros of which as much as ninety per cent is earned in international markets. Optotek does not only ride successfully the wave of global competitiveness even in times of economic turndown, but has the capacity to grow. It currently has a fifteen per cent share of the world market in lasers used to treat eye.
The award in the category of long-term presence and focus on sustainability went to Willy Stadler, a metallurgy company owned by the namesake German group. With revenue of EUR 14m, it boasts value added per employee at just under EUR 50,000. The company Willy Stadler has been in the metal working business for over two hundred years, so there is no doubt that the company has full command of all techniques and process to make a product that deserves to sold under the company’s slogan: “Engineering at its best”. The Slovenian company was established by Willy Stadler GmbH in 1997 and remains its sole owner. Long years of experience and know-how have produced quality, reliability and customer satisfaction and keep its employees motivated in everything they do. Schenker, a Deutsche Bahn group company founded in 1989, meanwhile took the honours in the category of logistics hub. Slovenian Schenker d.d. has been part of the international logistics network based in Germany DB Schenker since 1989 and is a full subsidiary of its parent company. DB Schenker is a household name around the world boasting over a hundred and forty years of experience and enjoying high reputation for its transport and logistics services. Focus on all dimension of sustainability including environmental protection has helped DB Schenker to become a profitable market leader, top employer and eco-pioneer in transport and logistics.
The Slovenian subsidiary has a hundred and thirty people strong staff and 36 million euros in sales, with a quarter of its revenue stream arriving from abroad.
Companies in majority foreign ownership that have at least 50 employees, a high credit rating, value added per employee of at least EUR 35,000, and pay their taxes in time were eligible for shortlisting.
Last year the awards went to car parts maker Sumida Slovenija, retailer Hofer, electronics producer Elrad International, and paper mill Količevo Karton.