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Best FDI in 2014 Award Went to Papirnica Količevo

Best FDI in 2014 Award Went to Papirnica Količevo

Paper mill Papirnica Količevo, a part of Austrian Mayr-Melnhof, won the award for the best foreign direct investment in 2014. Mayr-Melnhif invested 46 million euros into modernization of the plant in Količevo in 2011. Since then the revenues have increased by 25 percent while value added per employee reached 100,000 euros –  one of the best figures in the industry on a global scale.


Paprinica Količevo received two important awards this year. On the FDI Summit in October it received Slovenia Best FDI Award 2014 – handed out by SPIRIT agency for the promotion of enterprise, investment and tourism. The company’s CEO Branko Rožič (62) was named the Slovenian Manager of the Year.  The award was presented by the Managers’ Association of Slovenia on their conference in September.

Papirnica Količevo is a paper mill company specialized in high quality fiber and recycled fiber cardboard used mostly for packaging food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. The company, founded in 1920, is a part of Austrian Mayr-Melnhof Group’s cardboard board division. When Branko Rožič took over the position of manager in 1995, Papirnica Količevo was producing around 80,000 tons of cardboard. The company was inefficient and operated with a loss with 43 million euros of revenues. Rožič quickly and successfully turned the company around. Količevo mill’s production now exceeds 240,000 tons per year. Its products are exported to 70 countries around the globe. The sales revenues exceeded 140 million euros last year. The company operates with solid profits above 10 million euros, but most of all, value added last year reached 100,000 euros per employee. A very respectable figure even in a global context.

What’s behind the success of the most efficient Slovenian paper mill? A key element is the company's strategic owner providing strong vision and clearly set goals. “Mayr-Melnhof is for us the perfect partner,” stressed Rožič in an interview after he received the award. Rožič pointed out that belonging to a strong group is crucial for competing on the global market. Mayr-Melnhof Group annualy makes 2 billion euros of revenues and employs around 9,500 people in many countries. Its cardboard division MM Karton is the world’s largest producer of coated cardboard made from recycled fibers and holds a significant position among producers of virgin fiber boards.
The Austrian group invested 46 million euros into a thorough modernization of the plant in 2011: one of the largest foreign investments in Slovenia that year. Since that the company has managed to increase its revenues by 25 percent. The group now stresses in its press releases that Količevo “optimally combines state-of-the-art technology and processes with the expert knowledge, motivation and dedication of its employees”.

The quality of workforce is often pointed out as one of Slovenia’s key advantages. Another important factor is also emphasized in MM Karton’s presentation of the Količevo plant: its strategically beneficial location between Western and Eastern markets. And, as Branko Rožič pointed out in a recent interview, these results couldn’t be achieved without a relatively reliable functioning of the state and its well-developed logistical and energy infrastructure. Yes, the Slovenian state is in crisis, but Slovenians tend to forget that they live in a highly developed and privileged part of the world.

Around 100 companies operate in Slovenia’s paper industry: the largest are seven paper mills, including Papirnica Količevo. The total annual revenues of the industry are around 750 million euros – over 500 million of the sales are made outside Slovenia.

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