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Slovenia Business Week no. 42/2004: Electrical Components Maker is Fastest Growing Company

Keko Varicon, a maker of ceramic electrical components, is the winner of this year's Golden Gazelle award for the fastest growing Slovenian company

Keko Varicon, a maker of ceramic electrical components, is the winner of this year's Golden Gazelle award for the fastest growing Slovenian company. The award, which has grown into one of the most prestigious business prizes in Slovenia over the past few years, was presented by the business weekly Gospodarski vestnik (GV) on Wednesday, 6 October.

Explaining its decision to select the Zuzemberk-based company as the winner, the jury highlighted that Keko Varicon has managed a complete turnaround from a company on the brink of bankruptcy to a highly successful medium-sized company that exports most of its products.

The company, which specialises in surge protection components, has managed to increase its sales by 4-fold in the past five years, including by 82 percent in 2000 alone. Its extensive investment in research and development has helped it churn out 25 new products since 1995.

The company, which has created 74 new jobs over the past five years, exports most of its products and has managed to become a trusty supplier of many leading European and American car makers. The company's next aim is to penetrate the Japanese market.

The Gazelle jury of businessmen, ministers and economists also conferred the 2004 Silver Gazelle to Ljubljana-based medical components maker Bioiks, while the Bronze Gazelle went to Don Don, a Kranj-based pastry company.

The Gazelle competition is based on GV's list of the 500 fastest growing Slovenian companies, which makes for one of the criteria by which the winner is selected; the two others being the opinion of the GV's editorial panel and that of the Gazelle jury.

This year's 500 fastest growing companies sold SIT 605bn (EUR 2.52bn) in products and services in 2003. These companies have created 13,395 new jobs over the past five years, which almost double that of last year's top-500.

On average, these companies have seen their sales increase five-fold over the past five years, selling SIT 1.2bn (EUR 5m) of products or services on average, one-third of which were exported.

The weekly Gospodarski vestnik launched the Gazelle project three years ago with the aim to show that fast growth and good entrepreneurial models are an essential factor for Slovenia's economy. The project is also meant to encourage Slovenian companies to break their own records.

The award has been so successful that a special company is to be established by the publisher GV Revije, which publishes GV, and Dnevnik, the publisher of the daily Dnevnik, which will be in charge of marketing the Gazelle brand.

Last year's Golden Gazelle Award went to the Ljubljana-based e-banking services company Halcom.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA