The Slovenia Times

Elan investing in production capacity, staff


The company was bought from state owners in 2015 by Wiltan Enterprises, which is owned by Russian venture capital fund VR Capital, and Merrill Lynch International of the US.

Elan currently employs 738 staff, but is planning to hire 50 more. It has also been investing heavily in buildings and equipment, this year to the tune of EUR 5m.

Elan CEO Jeffrey Tirman said he had come into the company to help with its restructuring and implement new methods of management.

"Elan is in the best financial state it has been over the past 30 years," Tirman said, adding the goal was to restore the company to its former glory.

He said that Elan was an important brand and company, but that in recent years it had been managed more for the benefit of managers than the company itself, which they wanted to change now.

He said the new owners did not reduce production or slash jobs, but had to close down some unprofitable divisions, which cost them EUR 1m last year. However, production has been expanded.

After every change of ownership comes consolidation, and then figures may turn upwards, which Tirman said was the phase the company was in at the moment with double-digit growth in all divisions this year.

The company is looking for new staff, mainly production workers. They are keen to employ local workers who would stay in Elan. They are also offering scholarships for technical occupations.

Wages have been raised by an average 9% and good workers are rewarded. The average monthly pay in the company at the moment is some EUR 1,000 gross, but it is being raised.

"Elan has seen little investment in its premises, equipment and people over the past 15 years. We need to change that," said Tirman.

Renovation is about to conclude on a building to expand production capacities for the wind turbines division. The winter division, where sales slumped last year, is also growing.

Investment in development and innovation has led to a strong growth in orders; the US market is growing, as is the Chinese.

Large boat sales are also up; last year Elan built 69 boats and this year more than 80. "We have developed a new boat model, we're also launching a programme to redefine the Elan Marine brand."

Tirman is also happy with the performance of Elan Inventa, the division that has fitted sports halls in Switzerland, Kazakhstan and the UK.

Tirman said that government officials were open to their proposals and willing to help, and the government was working to change the business environment, but also believes a tax reform is needed.


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