Based in Slovenska Bistrica in NE Slovenia, Impol was hit by a crisis already in the last quarter of 2019, but CEO Andrej Kolmanič has told the STA that the company was doing well compared to its competitors.
He is convinced that diversification of its portfolio of products and services across various markets has again proven as useful, as deals with the automotive industry represent only around 20% of total turnover.
"In the second quarter of the year the [coronavirus] crisis hit us, like the entire world economy, but it is because of diversification that the reduced demand has been felt only to a lesser extent," he said.
Nevertheless, in the first five months of 2020, Impol's production was down by 10% year-on-year and net sales revenue dropped by 15%, or 20 million less than in the same period in 2019.
Kolmanič noted that deals with the automotive industry have been almost completely suspended, but demand from the pharmaceutical and food industry had on the other hand increased, as 93% of the plan in these segments had already been reached at the half-year mark.
The CEO has seen some positive developments in the last month. "I think that we have hit the bottom of the crisis, as new orders are already coming," he said, adding that the company was already receiving orders for the autumn.
The Impol group operated during the epidemic without any disruption, and none of the estimated 1,400 employees were furloughed, with only student work being temporarily suspended, and a few fixed-term contracts terminated.
The company continues to build a new casting plant in Croatia's Šibenik and investing in projects related to deals with global giants such as BMW, Daimler and Samsung.
"We do not plan any new major projects for the time being, though," Kolmanič said, adding that the mentioned investments were worth around EUR 30 million and that Impol intended to finalise them this year and next.