Schmitz Cargobull Baltic launches €27M investment project

Aug 1, 2018
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Having increased its income by almost 63% and net profit by 38.5% over the last financial year, Panevėžys-based manufacturer of isothermal trailers Schmitz Cargobull Baltic has launched a new stage  of development. By the end of March 2020, the company estimates its investment to  amount to €27 million.

Over the 2017-2018 financial year starting April 1 and ending March 31, Schmitz Cargobull Baltic’s sales revenues increased to €121.3 million and net profit to  €7.2 million.

Even if the record of 2013, when turnover amounted to  €127 million, was not beaten, Raimundas Petrauskas, CEO of Schmitz Cargobull Baltic, calls the outgoing year one of the most successful ones in the company’s history.

“Following on from the year before, the growth in the last financial year was really fast and our life was dynamic. Our income varied during the year; there were months when the turnover was as little as  €4.9 million, but there were also months when it exceeded  €18.3 million. It’s not easy to manage such steep upsurges, and high flexibility is required – you need to be able to change direction and focus quickly, to adapt the manufacturing correspondingly and work profitably,” Mr. Petrauskas explained.

Schmitz Cargobull Baltic, which manufactures isothermal panels for the bodyworks of trailers with refrigeration units and assembles isothermal semitrailers, sought to reduce expenses by looking for new suppliers, combining production processes, improving structures and searching for other optimal solutions. For instance, last year the Panevėžys-based company renewed the manufacturing of tent semitrailers for the Lithuanian market. The plan is to supply these to the other Baltic countries as well.

“We have also implemented some projects that resulted in new products. This is necessary to ensure sales in the future,” the CEO noted.

16 metre-long semitrailers

One of the new developments is the production of longer isothermal semitrailers. The opportunity to manufacture them arose when the requirements in some EU countries changed, and it was allowed to produce longer semitrailers. Last year, the company tested out the prototypes, and this year the production of 16.3 metre-long semitrailers was launched.

According to the CEO, when it was allowed to exploit semitrailers of this length in some countries, such as the Scandinavian countries,the company managed to prepare to manufacture them in a fairly short period of time. The first semitrailers have already reached Russia. Mr. Petrauskas claims that there is demand for such semitrailers and exportscan be expanded to other countries as well.

“Last year, we supplied the components of longer semi-trailers to companies in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. We have some partners in these markets. We provide them with training on the assembly, we supply kits and they successfully sell our products. A few months ago, we took part in an exhibition event in Canada where our products were received well, thus, we can expand our exports to this country in the future,” the CEO forecasted.

Products of higher added value and the increase in productivity have allowed the company to increase the scope of production with the same number of staff. Currently, the company has 550 employees, whose average wage in June was  €1,465 and the median wage amounted to  €1,228.

Although Schmitz Cargobull Baltic has no plans to increase the number of staff, it does not deny that should the possibility occur to produce more, then more people will be employed.

Start of investments

Over the recently ended financial year, the company invested about  €9 million in a new enlargement of the building with an area of 3,400 square metres designed for the manufacturing of isothermal panels with polyurethane filling. Some of these new facilities have already been installed.

“We have approved strategic directions for up to the year 2025. Over this and the coming year, straight to March 2020, as much as  €27 million is planned to be invested. We will build manufacturing premises with an area of 6,000 square metres, and we will continue investments in panel manufacturing and infrastructure,” the head of the company explained.

The area for the company’s production should grow to 24,026 square metres, and open car storage facilities and auxiliary buildings will be built.

“Until 2020, the production capacity for vehicles or their components should double, but whether we will manage to increase sales will depend on the demand in the market,” Mr. Petrauskas cautioned.

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