Impol’s past six years marked by growth

Slovenska Bistrica – Impol, a leading Slovenian aluminium producer, generated EUR 165 million in net profit in the six-year period between 2015 and 2020, and allocated EUR 200 million for investments, its chairman Jernej Čokl said as his team started another six-year term this year.

Since 2015, when the Slovenj Gradec-group switched to single-tier management, Impol has been marked by growth, which was slightly suspended only by the epidemic.

Record results in this period were achieved in 2018 with the volume of production amounting to 247,000 tonnes of products, a third more than in 2014.

As a result, sales in 2018 rose from EUR 486 million in 2014 to around EUR 700 million, a rise of 40%, Čokl wrote in the company’s publication.

The plan for this year is to sell at least 260,000 tonnes a year.

“We invest everything we create in development, which is rare, as companies generally pay out the greatest share of profit or the entire profit to owners”, which reduces the potential for development, leading to a shortage of funds for investment.

A major investment for Impol in this period was the acquisition of bankrupt Croatian aluminium producer TLM.

Despite the impact of the coronavirus, Impol ended 2020 with a profit yet much lower than planned, so only some of the planned investments could be continued this year.

The company sold by 20,000 tonnes less products last year than in 2019, which is as much as it produces in a month.

“If 2021 continues as it started in January, then we will be much happier at the end of he year,” Čokl said.

The company also increased the number of employees from from around 1,850 to more than 2,400 in the six-year period, with more hirings planned.

Among the challenges in the new term, Čokl listed a quality entry of markets where higher value added can be generated and redirecting sales to direct buyers.

Impol makes a range of aluminium products, from rods and tubes to sheets, slugs, strips and cast aluminium. Its products are used in the automotive, construction, food&beverage and energy industries.

Čokl’s management board was reappointed for another six-year term as of 1 January, with one of a total of six members replaced.

While it has been long speculated who exactly owns Impol after the state sold it, a report by Siol.net a few years ago revealed the group was controlled by its senior managers.