Business News


TAB still doing well despite coronavirus

Mežica, 18 July (STA) - TAB, a maker of starter batteries for cars and industrial batteries, finished 2019 with EUR 278 million in net sales revenue and EUR 21 million in net profit, down on the record profit of EUR 26.4 million in 2018.

Although the 2019 results are somewhat worse than in the record 2018 year for the Mežica-based company, director Bogomir Auprih still considers them good.

This year's operations have been strongly influenced by the coronavirus situation, with March sales dropping by 15% year-on-year and April sales plunging by 50%.

July's figure is expected to be by 10-20% lower as well, Auprih told the STA.

"The corona has affected us severely, but I'm happy to say that things have been improving over the past few weeks for starter batteries, less so for industrial batteries, where there seems to be a delay of some six months."

Auprih has assessed the government's measures to help the economy survive the coronavirus as very good, saying they had helped companies weather the worst period.

TAB had as many as 370 workers on the government-sponsored furlough scheme in April, and the figure has gradually dropped to zero since, he said.

Like other companies that worked through the crisis, Tab was exempt from pension and disability contributions as part of the government measures.

Auprih said this entailed EUR 1.8 million in state aid for the entire TAB group in Slovenia.

Although the company's figures for the first five months are lower than in the same period last year, the director said they were still solid all things considered.

The steepest fall was recorded in the production and sale of industrial batteries, by an average 25%, whereas the company's total net sales revenue was down 20%.

However, he expects no drastic fall in business for this autumn if the coronavirus situation does not worsen further.

He also expects a EUR 6 million investment in production of new gel batteries to resume in the autumn after it was suspended due to the pandemic.

Another investment, worth some EUR 5 million, is under way to reduce sulphate and lead emissions, which should be completed in early autumn.

TAB shareholders received a record EUR 23.3 million in dividends last year, but no dividends will not be paid out this year because the company used coronavirus state aid.

The company has also cut its workforce, by 69 to 662 since the start of 2020.

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