Exhaust maker’s net profit up 70% in half-year

The company's CFO Matej Akrapovič told the STA that the surge in profit was due to the consolidation of production following last year's move from Ivančna Gorica, some 25km SE of Ljubljana, to Črnomelj in the south.

The company's plans for the year include a 4% rise in operating profit and sales revenue to the tune of EUR 89m, which would be a 15% rise from 2015.

Since the bulk of their sales and profit is made in the first six or seven months of the year, the rise is expected to remain at the half-year level.

The company moved the production to Črnomelj in May 2015, while the management, the department for development, foundry, tool repair workshop and a unit of pre-production stayed in Ivančna Gorica.

The company said the production was now settled at the new location, spreading over 23,000 square metres, which should suffice for the next five years.

Akrapovič now employs some 640 people in Črnomelj, 40 of whom were hired this year, but aims to raise the number of its employees there.

Akrapovič plans to hire ten new workers in Ivančna Gorica this year, where there are currently 280 employees and where it wants to build a new testing centre as well as a new office building.

If the current growth continues, some 800 new jobs will open by the end of the decade in Bela krajina, which means the group's total staff number would reach 1,000 in the coming years, Akrapovič said.

The CFO said that major investments in the past two years were related to the move of production and a new EUR 500,000 worth three-dimensional laser cutting machine which the company bought this spring.