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InvestSlovenia http://dev.tend.si/investslovenia/ Bussiness news en.UTF-8 TYPO3 News Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:45:24 +0100 Thu, 21 Mar 2019 11:45:24 +0100 TYPO3 EXT:news news-5521 Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Steklarna Hrastnik increased revenue and profit in 2018 https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/steklarna-hrastnik-increased-revenue-and-profit-in-2018-5521/ Hrastnik, 20 March (STA) - Glass maker Steklarna Hrastnik recorded another successful year, generating EUR 60.5m in total revenue in 2018, a 5% increase compared to the year before. Its net profit rose by 18% year-on-year, amounting to EUR 7.8m, the company reported on Wednesday. The group's operating gross earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) were up by 12% to EUR 14.1m. Gross profit reached EUR 8.8m, a 14% increase on 2017.

"Steklarna Hrastnik had another successful year despite a 15% year-on-year increase in electricity and gas costs and even though monthly labour cost per employee rose by almost a tenth to amount to EUR 2,077 last year. Added value per employee grew by 13%, reaching EUR 46,683," said the company's CEO Peter Čas, attributing the group's good results also to increased investment in employees' training.

The company's growth has continued in the first three months of 2019, with Steklarna Hrastnik expecting to generate EUR 16.2m in revenue, an 8% increase on last year's first trimester.

EBITDA is expected to go up by 19% compared to last year's first quarter, amounting to EUR 4m, while the company's pre-tax profit is expected to increase by 21% to EUR 2.6m.

The group has extended its network across key markets, including France, the UK, and the US, where its subsidiaries have strengthened relations with trademark owners.

They are also satisfied with the market's positive reaction to their own collections of packaging glass HighGlass parfumes and HighGlass spirits.

Steklarna Hrastnik is already transitioning to Industry 4.0 by implementing a strategy devised in cooperation with Siemens.

The majority of last year's investments, estimated at EUR 9.2m - almost double the amount invested the year before, was used for digitalisation, robotisation and automation of manufacturing processes.

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news-5522 Wed, 20 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 EIB Management Committee gives go-ahead for EUR 250m loan for Koper-Divača track https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/eib-management-committee-gives-go-ahead-for-eur-250m-loan-for-koper-divaca-track-5522/ Ljubljana, 20 March (STA) - The Management Committee of the European Investment Bank (EIB) has endorsed a EUR 250m loan for the Koper-Divača rail project, according to unofficial information available to the STA. The final stamp of approval will need to be given by the Board of Directors, which is to be in session on 9 April. The committee gave its go-ahead on Tuesday after the EIB placed the project in mid-February on the list of those planned for financing. The decision is unlikely to be changed by the Board of Directors.

The project is valued at EUR 968m at current prices, with the total price tag including provisions for unexpected work and interest at EUR 1.2bn.

The project is to be financed with a mix of loans from international financial institutions and the state-owned SID export and development bank, government funds, EU grants and loans from commercial banks.

The investmen plans is to be presented in detail at a public debate hosted by the parliamentary Infrastructure Committee on Thursday.

The construction of the 27-kilometre railway, comprising several tunnels and viaducts, is expected to start soon. Work on the construction of access roads serving the building site has already begun.

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news-5520 Tue, 19 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Production at Magna paint shop finally under way https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/production-at-magna-paint-shop-finally-under-way-5520/ Hoče, 19 March (STA) - The Austrian-Canadian automotive multinational Magna Steyr launched trial production at its Slovenian paint shop on Tuesday, after its environmental permit became valid at the end of last week. The production is expected to be in full swing at the end of May. David Adam, the boss of the new company in Hoče, told the press the first six painted Jaguar bodywork had already left the paint shop for Magna's Austrian facility in Graz.

Adam could not say how much it cost the company to have to postpone the launch of trial production in Hoče due to problems with the environmental permit.

He did say, however, that workers at the Graz facility had to do overtime to cope with orders.

While the painting of the first 24 bodywork began in Hoče today, production is to be stepped up over the coming weeks to paint 100 pieces a day.

Once this figure is achieved, full production will be introduced, Adam explained.

"We've really worked hard over the past three years to arrive at this day so that we can now finally focus on production."

As for Magna's plans to expand production in Slovenia to manufacture the entire car with several thousand jobs, Adam said this would depend on orders.

He is confident that despite a slowdown in the global car market, they will have enough orders.

The Hoče facility, a EUR 160m investment for which the Slovenian government chipped in an incentive of almost EUR 19m, has slightly over 200 employees.

Eight of them are Slovenian workers from the Graz facility, two are Austrians, and the rest come from the Maribor area.

The workers, too, seem to be happy that the uncertainty about the environmental permit has been resolved, and believe this is "the beginning of a big story."

But this is not necessarily the end of the environmental permit saga.

While the NGO Rovo renounced its plan to challenge it at the Administrative Court just recently, it filed a lawsuit some time ago, asking the court to annul the environmental permit which was the basis for Magna to obtain a building permit.

The court will first have to establish whether Rovo is entitled to filing such a lawsuit given that it was not a party to the procedure.

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news-5516 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Gastronomy could help shape society, Food Summit hears https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/gastronomy-could-help-shape-society-food-summit-hears-5516/ Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - Gastronomy could help shape society in the future, Andrea Petrini, one of the top names of the culinary world, said as he addressed the opening of the main event of the European Food Summit in Ljubljana on Monday. Meanwhile, Maja Pak, the country's top tourism official, said that Slovenia had become one of the top culinary destinations. Petrini, who is curating the conference, talked about a world divided by Brexit, migration crisis, populism, isolationism and destruction of the environment, but food, on the other hand, "is something that connects us".

"Differences between nations and cultures are too divisive. We should allow European gastronomy to connect us," added Slovenia's Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, who also labelled the Food Summit one of the key European culinary events.

"It's no surprise that this prestigious culinary event is hosted by Slovenia, a small, unique country with an extraordinarily diverse gastronomy," said Počivalšek, mentioning that the country has 24 gastronomic regions, 365 regional dishes and beverages, as well as three winemaking regions.

Pak, the director of the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO), said in her address that Slovenia had become one of the top culinary destinations in the world.

Slovenian chefs, such as Ana Roš, Tomaž Kavčič, Igor Jagodic, Janez Bratož, David and Gregor Vračko, Jure Tomič, Luka Košir and Mojmir Šiftar, are at the forefront of culinary innovation, Pak said.

"In Slovenia, we view sustainable gastronomy as exploring and making contact with other people, cultures and ideas. We see it as fusion of tradition, culture and innovation, as a key aspect of diplomacy, an inspiration fuelling our confidence to shape the future in our own, distinctive way," said Pak.

The first edition of the European Food Summit, which began on Saturday and is meant to become an anual event in Slovenia, will wrap up tomorrow with a skiing competition at the Krvavec ski slopes.

The summit attracted not only Petrini but also a number of top chefs from around Europe, including Andoni Luis Aduriz, Jordan Kahn, Andreas Caminada, Christopher Pele, Esben Holmboe Bang, Leonor Espinosa and Riccardo Camanini.

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news-5517 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Job market slightly up in January y/y https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/job-market-slightly-up-in-january-yy-5517/ Ljubljana, 18 March (STA) - The job market in Slovenia remained relatively flat at the monthly level in January while seeing a slight increase year-on-year. There were 881,245 people employed at the end of January, which was 0.7% less than in December last year and 3.1% more than in January 2018, show Statistics Office data released on Monday. Compared to the previous month, the number of those in paid employment and the number of self-employed dropped by 0.4% and 2.5%, respectively.

At the yearly level 16 industries experienced job loss and four saw job growth. The most significant growth was recorded in construction, namely by almost 9%.

Almost 7% of people in employment worked in construction, where the number of employees has increased by 15% in the last five years.

The number of people employed decreased at the monthly level in all Slovenian regions, excluding the Primorska region (SW) and the central one, where it remained mostly flat. The most significant drop was seen in the Pomurje region (NE) - by almost 2%.

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news-5518 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Gorenje expanding fridge and freezer production in Serbia https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/gorenje-expanding-fridge-and-freezer-production-in-serbia-5518/ Velenje, 18 March (STA) - The Velenje-based household appliances group Gorenje, which is owned by China's Hisense, plans to expand production of refrigerators and freezers in Serbia's Valjevo as a line for built-in refrigerators is being moved from Velenje and a new production hall is scheduled for construction next year. The existing plant in north-eastern Serbia, which employs around 1,500 people, produced 672,000 units last year.

Following the ongoing relocation of what is the last remaining production line for built-in refrigerators in Velenje, the Valjevo plant's capacity will increase by 150,000 units a year. The recloation is expected to be completed in April.

In 2020, Gorenje intends to start building an additional production hall for refrigerators and freezers, which is expected to bring 1,000 new jobs and increase the capacity by an additional 750,000 units a year.

With the expansion, the Valjevo location will become the cooling appliances centre of Hisense in Europe, Gorenje said in a press release on Monday.

It added that a production line for dishwashers would be installed instead of the production line for built-in refrigerators in Velenje.

Hisense announced at the beginning of March it intended to open a television plant adjacent to the current Gorenje complex at the end of 2020 and to employ between 300 and 400 people in the first phase.

In the first phase, the plant is planned to produce around a million units a year, while the next phase (until 2023) envisages annual production of four million TVs and a workforce of around 1,000, Gorenje said today.

The newspaper Dnevnik recently reported that Gorenje is to book a loss of around EUR 100m for last year due to write-offs and revaluation of assets following the acquisition by Hisense.

After the financial restructuring, the new owner will reportedly carry out thorough business restructuring, which includes lay-offs of several hundred employees.

At the end of 2018, the Gorenje group employed 11,084 people, including 6,667 in Slovenia.

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news-5519 Mon, 18 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Magna to launch trial production in Slovenia tomorrow https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/magna-to-launch-trial-production-in-slovenia-tomorrow-5519/ Hoče, 18 March (STA) - Austrian-Canadian automotive multinational Magna Steyr said it would launch trial production at its Slovenian paint shop on Tuesday, after its environmental permit became valid at the end of last week. Having obtained the permit just before the end of 2018, Magna planned to launch the trial production at the Hoče paint shop, a EUR 160m investment in the north-east, in early March.

However, environmental NGO Rovo appealed against the permit, which was issued by the Slovenian Environment Agency, arguing Magna's plant is located in a water-sensitive area.

Although its appeal was rejected by the Environment Ministry in early February, the parties had 30 days to appeal against the ministry's decision.

Although Rovo first said it would challenge the ministry's decision in court, its representative Gorazd Marinček recently changed his mind after meeting the economic and environment ministers.

Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek reassured him the government would change the special law on Manga to allow the company to build in a water protection area.

This means the amended Lex Magna would in effect bypass provisions from the waters act.

However, the government rejected such a proposal on 21 February, arguing it would only make sense to address such an issue in a more systemic way.

Magna said today the around 200 employees it had already hired and who were testing the equipment and continuing training in Hoče would be able to actually start working tomorrow.

When problems with the appeals against the environmental permit had surfaced, Magna had temporarily moved the manufacturing of products planned for Hoče to nearby Graz, Austria.

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news-5514 Sat, 16 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 European Food Summit starting in Ljubljana https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/european-food-summit-starting-in-ljubljana-5514/ Ljubljana, 16 March (STA) - The European Food Summit, a meeting of some of the world's top chefs, "the greatest minds in the culinary, art and media sectors" and visitors aspiring to refine their palates, will get under way in Ljubljana today. The event, which is running until Tuesday and is meant to become an annual affair, is organised by Jezeršek Catering with the support of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) and Turizem Ljubljana.

The curator is Andrea Petrini, one of the world's most influential figures in gastronomy, while another key participant is Slovenia's star chef Ana Roš, who helped attract several international master chefs.

The list includes Andoni Luis Aduriz, Jordan Kahn, Andreas Caminada, Christopher Pele, Esben Holmboe Bang, Leonor Espinosa and Riccardo Camanini.

Also coming to Ljubljana are author Georges Desrues, journalist Ivan Brincat, critic and author Joe Warwick and sustainable food systems researchers Afton Halloran and Roberto Flore.

The Slovenian-speaking speakers at the summit highlighted by the organisers include Valter Kramar of the Hiša Franko restaurant, Anka Lipušček of the Mlekarna Planika dairy, Mateja Gravner of the Gravner winery and Lior Kochavy of Odprta Kuhna (Open Kitchen), Ljubljana's popular culinary market.

The European Food Summit will get under way in front of the Križanke open air theatre with the launch of a new season of Odprta Kuhna. Also scheduled today is the Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl, which will take participants on a tour of the capital's key sights and landmarks, which will transform into pop-up eateries featuring signature dishes by prominent chefs.

On Sunday the European Food Summit, which has evolved from the Gourmet Cup Ljubljana, will move to the ski resort of Krvavec north of Ljubljana. The guests of the resort will be pampered by top international and Slovenian chefs, including with a cable car dinner.

The conference or symposium part of the meeting is planned at Ljubljana Castle for Monday. The main topic will be sustainability, which the organisers say shows that the event is about more than only haute cuisine.

On Tuesday participants will be able show off their skiing and snowboarding skills at Krvavec as part of the Audi Gourmet cup event and relax at the closing party aptly named apres ski.

All the events are sold out.

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news-5512 Fri, 15 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 Extended weekend in Ljubljana and Krvavec all about food https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/extended-weekend-in-ljubljana-and-krvavec-all-about-food-5512/ Ljubljana, 15 March (STA) - Food lovers are advised to stay or make their way to Ljubljana this weekend, as the Slovenian capital hosts what the organisers have labelled the first ever European Food Summit. The meeting, which is running from Saturday to Tuesday and is meant to become an annual event in Slovenia, will bring together some of the world's finest chefs, among them Slovenia's Ana Roš.

Organised by Jezeršek Catering with the support of the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) and Turizem Ljubljana, the European Food Summit will start in front of the Križanke open air theatre with the launch of a new season of Odprta Kuhna (Open Kitchen), Ljubljana's popular culinary market.

Next, participants of the Gourmet Ljubljana Crawl will be taken on a tour of the capital's key sights and landmarks, which will transform into pop-up eateries featuring signature dishes by prominent chefs from Ljubljana.

A culinary tour or trip to the ski resort of Krvavec north of Ljubljana is planned for Sunday, cable car dinner included, the main conference at Ljubljana Castle is scheduled for Monday and another day at Krvavec is on the programme for Tuesday.

Monday's conference, entitled Food - The Bridge Toward the Sustainable Identities of European Cultures and Nations, will be conducted in cooperation with Ana Roš and Andrea Petrini, one of the world's most influential figures in gastronomy.

The organisers of the summit, which has evolved from the Gourmet Cup Ljubljana, said they want it to become the most important European culinary event and a unique platform that contributes to the shaping of a sustainable European future.

"We have brought together the greatest minds in culinary, art and media sectors whose stories will aim to motivate listeners to engage in more progressive thinking and work toward a brighter and more sustainable future," the invitation says.

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news-5513 Fri, 15 Mar 2019 00:00:00 +0100 AIK ups Gorenjska Banka stake to 90% https://www.investslovenia.org/news-media/business-news/aik-ups-gorenjska-banka-stake-to-90-5513/ Ljubljana, 15 March (STA) - The Serbian bank AIK has acquired another 12.43% in Gorenjska Banka, raising its total stake to 90.11% as part of a takeover bid published after it had already secured a majority stake in Slovenia's seventh biggest bank at the beginning of the year. AIK, controlled through MK Grupa by Serbian businessman Miodrag Kostić, was offering EUR 298 per share in the takeover bid published in 13 February and valid until 13 March.

The key stake, giving AIK control over Gorenjska Banka, had already been acquired in the week proceeding 13 February from the indebted conglomerate Sava, which had been ordered to sell by Banka Slovenije.

Prior to that, stakes were also sold by several other companies in full or partial state-ownership, among them the Bank Asset Management Company (BAMC) or bad bank, insurer Zavarovalnica Triglav and Abanka.

Prior to the 13 February offer, stakes were still held by a variety of small shareholders including national telco Telekom Slovenije and the brokerage GB.

The formal takeover marks the final step in Kostić's log battle for control of Gorenjska Banka.

AIK Banka published the first takeover attempt in December 2017 but clearance from the central bank was not forthcoming. It eventually got the go-ahead but because it had failed to satisfy all formal requirements it got a one-year ban on a new takeover bid.

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