BILKA, leader of the domestic roofing market, has started last year an investment plan with deadline in 2016 amounting to about EUR 5 million. Earlier this year, the company has increased its budget by EUR 2 million. The budgeted amount is distributed to the development of products marketed in the industrial and residential sectors.
The investment plan consists of two phases. The first phase started and ended last year, and amounted to EUR 3 million. The amount was directed to increasing the production capacity for the existing products in the portfolio and for the purchase and renovation of the Romlag Brașov production halls, thus reaching a total area of approximately 45,000 sqm used for storage, production lines, and offices.
The second phase, started this year, amounts to EUR 4 million and aims at increasing and especially diversifying the production. Eight new production lines for metal roofing sheets, rainwater system elements, and roof accessories will be installed this year at the BILKA plant.
“Increasing the production capacity and diversifying the product range are important steps that will bring added value to the market and will contribute to new financial performance for BILKA. With the decisions and investments made in 2014-2015, we provide our customers with a complete roofing system, a wide range of products and colors, transport, assembly, buying advice and after-sales support. We are therefore talking the client into renovating the roof, instead of using patches to repair it. Our current actions will lead to the future growth of the domestic roofing market, without waiting for governmental measures and projects meant to reinvigorate the market”, says Horațiu Țepeș.
Investments are supported by the company’s profit, European funds, and bank loans. In addition, this year the company received state aid worth RON 1 million, and European funds amounting to RON 3.5 million.
“Funding was requested under the provisions of the state aid scheme to support investments that promote regional development through job creation. This means that we will generate 30 new jobs as a result of the investments, and the state aid obtained will cover, for two consecutive years, 50% of the total wage costs for the 30 new employees. A welcomed initiative that encourages Romanian entrepreneurs to create new jobs”, says Horațiu Țepeș.
Focus on export
The production at the plant in Brașov last year went up to 96% on the domestic market, with exports accounting for only 4%. For 2015, the company is considering expanding and increasing the export channels.
“As a result of our investments, we have competitive products, the means and the resources needed to focus more on exports. This year we expect an increase of exports in the total turnover by a few percents. This year, BILKA products will mainly be found in former Soviet countries or in Slovakia, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria”, says Horațiu Țepeș.
The roofing market in 2015 ‒ potential growth by up to 15%
According to the company’s estimates, in the first three months of the year, the roofing market has grown by about 5-8%.
“The positive trend of the market seen in the first quarter of this year, when BILKA sales grew by 38% compared to the same period last year, allows us to be optimistic and see for the end of the year an increase in the roofing market by 10%. A positive evolution of agriculture and favorable weather conditions could lead to a 15% increase in the market. There is great demand for housing and great potential on the market waiting to be capitalized. I think that the gap to what is happening in the West must be fought against, and we as manufacturers, through investments made to increase product and service quality, will have a significant contribution to market growth”, said Horațiu Țepeș.