Maribor – Weiler Abrasives, a maker of abrasives and technical textiles, saw production decline by more than 10% last year due to the pandemic, generating about EUR 66 million in revenue. Given the situation, a decrease in profit was relatively small compared to 2019.
Jože Kaligaro, Weiler Abrasives CEO, told the STA that the company had fared quite well considering the extreme circumstances brought about by Covid-19. The 2020 EBITDA figures show only a slight downturn compared to 2019, he said.
As a result of the Covid-related government subsidies worth almost EUR 1 million, the company did not resort to any major downsizing.
Kaligaro noted that government aid for the economic sector during the epidemic had been truly designed to preserve jobs.
The company, formerly known as SwatyComet, was renamed Weiler Abrasives after its US parent company, which acquired it in 2015.
Taking into account its three production locations in Maribor, Zreče and Loče, the company’s headcount currently numbers around 750 employees and is expected to grow in the coming months.
In the wake of the Italian group Safilo’s recent decision to close down its plant in Ormož (NE), Weiler Abrasives intends to also take into consideration Safilo workers as potential recruitment candidates.
Weiler Abrasives forecasts a 3-5% growth in 2021. The post-pandemic recovery has been swifter than expected, Kaligaro said, adding that this year’s first quarter already suggested that the situation would significantly improve at least in the first half of the year compared to 2020.
The pre-pandemic levels are expected to be reached in two years at the latest, perhaps even a bit sooner in terms of profitability. There will be no major changes regarding the company’s investment plans, Kaligaro said, adding that investments, which are currently small-scale, would have to be boosted in a year or two.