Impol passes €1 billion annual sales milestone
Impol, Slovenia's largest aluminium processing company, generated €1.1 billion in sales revenue last year, the first time to pass the one billion euro mark, which is attributed largely to high prices of aluminium.
"The exchange market price of aluminium, which was very high for a while and even exceeded 3,000 euros per tonne had a significant effect on the result," Impol CEO Andrej Kolmanič said at a recent press conference.
He could not yet give detailed figures for 2022, but said that operating profit was estimated to have topped €100 million and the value added per employee surpassed €100,000 in a major improvement.
However, the company noticed a decline in demand from the construction industry and general consumption starting in the second half of last year, and most recently in transport as well.
They expect the trend to continue for at least the first half of this year and project about a 20% decline in demand.
The financial plan for 2023 is for revenue to top one billion euros. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation are projected at €67 million and operating profit at €47 million, which is significantly below the 2022 figure.
Impol is not facing difficulties in supply of raw materials for the time being, because it sources aluminium from Africa and the Middle East and increasingly recycles used aluminium.
"The narrower the supply options, the higher the prices will be, which is why we are focusing all our knowhow and resources on recycling existing aluminium," said Kolmanič.
Impol put out roughly 245,000 tonnes of products last year, which is about 25,000 tonnes less than the year before in terms of volume.
Aluminium processing is an energy-intensive industry and the share of energy costs in overall expenses has risen well above 20% from only 10% in the past.
"Being aware of the significance of the cost of energy and unreliability of supply, we invested heavily into new technological equipment even a decade ago, in particular in foundry," Kolmanič said.
They have energy supply secured for 2023 and are happy about the cost considering the circumstances because it will allow them to keep their operations sustainable at least.
The company is in the process of obtaining a building and environmental permit for a €50 million investment in foundry and smelting capacity at its Croatian plant in Šibenik.
At the location of the parent company in Slovenska Bistrica, they are expanding forging and finishing capacity to increase the added value of processed aluminium.
The company has recently also launched a €4 million project called INDIGO to digitally transform its business processes. The state chipped half of the funding under the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
"A major part of the project is developing a green aluminium module which will help increase the use of secondary and recycled materials and advanced regulation of foundry processes," project manager Denis Špelič said.
This should help optimise energy consumption and reduce the Impol foundry's carbon footprint.
Impol's partners in the project Norik Sistemi Nomnio, Logix, Ates and MediaInteractive will digitalize their support processes, especially project management.