Kočevje – Melamin, a chemical company in Kočevje with around EUR 50 million in annual revenues and around 200 employees, experienced significant problems during the Covid-19 epidemic. Now, says CFO Borut Hočevar, the situation is gradually returning to normal and the company is almost pack to pre-pandemic output.
Melamin produces chemical products such as melamine resins for paper, construction, wood, rubber, and the lacquer industry, impregnated decorative paper for the furniture industry, and impregnated materials for footwear manufacturing.
According to CFO Borut Hočevar, the epidemic has had a major impact on the business, both in terms of volume and revenue. The biggest decline was recorded in the second quarter of last year, as a result of production stoppages at a number of their customers.
Although it was difficult at times, said Hočevar, they did not have to stop production. However, they were forced to increase the prices of their finished products because of the increased cost of raw materials.
Supply issues also posed a problem. Logistical routes were already strained in the first wave of the epidemic, then the supply problems have been compounded by the rising cost of shipping raw materials, which increased by a factor of three to four.
“Demand in Europe is currently good, but raw material costs remain high and the logistics situation has not yet improved,” said Hočevar.
The company expects moderate growth in production and business in the future, but is also aware that it will need to invest in the most ecologically advanced products, which is also one of its priorities.
“Legislative requirements in this area are becoming more stringent, and buyers themselves, especially larger multinationals, are increasingly demanding that products use as many raw materials as possible from renewable sources,” Hočevar told the STA, adding that the company was not afraid of this challenge and was already adapting.