Ravne na Koroškem, Monday, 25 January 2016 – SIJ – Slovenian Steel Group welcomes the beginning of operations of a new company, Ravne Systems d.o.o., established by a merger between Ravne Knives d.o.o., Sistemske tehnike d.o.o. and Serpa d.o.o. The new company will have a key role in the gradual transition of the SIJ Group to a manufacturer of not only premium steel, but also of end products – rolls, industrial knives and other industrial equipment.
By the end of 2015 the SIJ Group and, acting on its behalf, Ravne Knives d.o.o., completed the takeover of Sistemska tehnika d.o.o., which changed its name to Ravne Systems d.o.o. on 18 January 2016. At the same time, activities for the merger of (the former) Sistemska tehnika d.o.o., Ravne Knives d.o.o. and Serpa d.o.o. were being intensely carried out. Ravne Knives d.o.o. and Serpa d.o.o. still operate as independent legal entities, and the finalization of the merger into Ravne Systems d.o.o. is planned for the following months.
The development of the SIJ Group's companies in Ravne will now proceed in two centers which together employ over 1,500 people and, together with ZIP Center (a company for the disabled), represent the core of economic development in Koroška. The first center is Metal Ravne, one of the world's leading manufacturers of special steels, which will focus intensely on the development and production of new special and tool steels and thus expand its presence in the global market. The second center is Ravne Systems, which will focus on the processing of steel into end products – industrial knives, cylinders and other industrial equipment. With this takeover the SIJ Group continues the realization of its long-term strategy of development by 2020/2025, since one of the strategic aims is the expansion of the current portfolio by end products with a high level of heat and mechanical treatment.
"By merging the companies into Ravne Systems we will achieve synergies in many operational fields. We will increase income by cross-sales and lower production costs by optimizing logistics channels and managing the entire production process, from melting steel to end products, within the SIJ Group. We will also reduce fixed costs per unit and exploit purchasing synergies. The total synergistic effects are estimated at EUR 2 million per year and will be achieved in total from 2017 onward. Besides synergies with direct financial effects, the organization into two centers in Ravne will enable us to exploit the potential of joint development of new products. By securing land we will provide the space necessary to reach ambitious strategic goals and enable the integration of supporting activities," said Samo Jenič, manager of the Ravne Systems merger project, with regard to the synergies of the merger of these three companies.
With the takeover of Sistemska tehnika and the merger the SIJ Group will additionally strengthen its position as the largest Slovenian vertically-integrated metallurgist group, ranked in the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. Ravne Systems also has ambitious business plans.
"We are planning to increase our income by 10% in 2016, reaching EUR 44 million, in comparison to the income of the individual companies. This company is export-oriented with the export share amounting to over 75% at the moment, and this year we are planning to export over 80% of our products. We will look for new sales opportunities in the global market, with the focus on the EU and the USA. Through our sales network and subsidiary, Ravne Knives USA, we will market our entire product portfolio. Our plans also include intensive investments in the amount of EUR 5.7 million. In comparison to the investment amount in the past year in all three companies the investment assets have been almost doubled. This will enable an increase in productivity, competitiveness on the market and higher added value. This company will also become one of the best technologically-equipped and advanced companies for metal processing in Europe," commented Peter Čas, the Managing Director of Ravne Systems, on the company's business plans.
Ravne Systems will be, like the other companies of the Group, consolidated in the corporate management policy of the SIJ Group. All the companies have been successfully developing and in the first nine months of 2015 they generated EUR 529.1 million in revenue, EUR 55.9 million in operating profit (EBITDA), and EUR 16 million of net profit. We continue to maintain a high level of operational earnings, as the EBITDA margin amounted to 10.6% in the first nine months of 2015, which is considerably – several percentage points – higher than average in the global steel market.
Dr. Denis Mancevič, Director of Corporate Communications
The SIJ Group is the largest Slovenian vertically integrated metallurgist group, ranked among the top market positions in the European and world niche steel markets. The Group comprises five business areas, has 22 affiliated companies in Europe and the USA, and employs 3,200 people.
In 2014 the SIJ Group generated EUR 707.8 million in revenues, a 7% increase in comparison with 2013. The EBITDA increased by 91% reaching EUR 77.8 million. The 11% EBITDA margin that was achieved put the SIJ Group among the most successful world steel producing groups in 2014. The EBIT amounted to EUR 39.6 million and increased by 18 times in comparison with 2013, and net profit was slightly less than EUR 25 million.