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Slovenia Business Week no. 05/2005: Car-Seat Cover Maker Switching to More Sophisticated Products

Strong competition is driving the car-seat cover manufacturer Prevent into developing new, more technologically sophisticated products

Strong competition is driving the car-seat cover manufacturer Prevent into developing new, more technologically sophisticated products, the CEO Joze Kozmus told a paper. He announced that the company would soon launch a production of laser cards in Slovenia.

The automotive industry in Europe has not much room left to develop any further, Kozmus said in an interview for Delo on Friday, 28 January.

The competition is growing by the day and given the labour costs and other factors, the demand for some simple products is likely to drop, which is why Prevent is trying to win deals for more sophisticated ones.

Kozmus said the licence production of laser cards would gradually replace the company's textile programmes.

The company plans to post over EUR 500 of revenues this year. In another interview, Kozmus said last year's sales revenues were higher while profit was lower than the year before. Last year's profit amounted to EUR 5.2m, which is 15 to 20% less than n 2003, he told the daily Finance.

The reason for a drop in profit is the crisis of the automotive industry, while the company also had difficulties in its construction section, Kozmus told the business daily.

The company expects results in 2005 to be comparable to those in 2004, while a certain improvement is expected in future, particularly in the sales of more sophisticated products.

A leading Slovenian company, Prevent is also gearing up to start business in China, where it already has a representation office, and Russia. The Chinese market will be the fastest developing market, which is why Prevent wants to be part of it, Kozmus explained.

Prevent is also the majority owner of the Maribor airport, where the company's ambition is to raise passenger transport. Kozmus told Finance that talks had been underway with low-cost airlines for some time. The company plans to build a logistics, trade and production centre near the airport as well.

The company's shareholders have recently approved reorganisation. Kozmus said Prevent would be organised in divisions. Each division will be headed by a parent company. Moreover, company Prevent will be renamed "Prevent Global", and will be a kind of a holding company of the entire Prevent group.

Prevent is also considering getting listed on the stock market. Kozmus told Finance that if the company manages to complete the development of the new product swiftly, this could speed up the process.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA