This winners of this year’s Invest Slovenia FDI Award are Titus, Iskon, LPKF and Kuehne + Nagel. All four awards went to highly specialized small or mid-sized companies this year. The awards are organized by SPIRIT Slovenia – a Public Agency for Entrepreneurship, Internationalization, Foreign Investments and Technology.
Titus d.o.o. from Dekani is a part of the UK’s Titus International Group (see also the article on business relations between UK and Slovenia in this issue of the newsletter). Titus’ Slovenian operation creates 60 percent of the group’s total turnover, the Dekani plant is group’s key manufacturing and R&D center. Titus Dekani’s sales reached 75 million euros in the 2016/17 business year. The company employs 400 people and has received the award for best FDI employer of year.
Isokon from Slovenske Konjice is part of Austrian Constantia Industries, or more precisely, of its Isosport Group. Isosport is “the world market leader in the field of plastic composite materials for the ski and snowboard industry«. The company’s Slovenian subsidy is, however, specialized in the production of extruded and pressed thermoplastic materials for various industries, including food, automotive and mechanical engineering. Isokon’s strengths are a high level of flexibility and synergy with its parent company: its small batch production capacities offer special quality, dimensions and colors. The company employs 160 people and created over 29 million revenues in 2016. Isokon received the FDI award for its long-term presence in the region.
LPKF Laser & Electronics designs and manufactures laser systems: the German company is a pioneer in the use of lasers in micro material processing. Its solutions are used in areas which include the automotive industry, solar cell manufacturing, and microelectronics. Its Naklo based Slovenian subsidiary is one of the company’s four production sites and the only one outside of Germany. LPKF formed the subsidiary in 1994, it now employs around 100 people and generates close to 15 million euros of revenues. LPKF was awarded best R&D oriented foreign direct investment of the year.
The fourth award went to Kuehne + Nagel, a Slovenian operation of a Swiss based logistics group. The company was established in the German port of Bremen back in 1890 and has evolved into the world’s leading provider of fully integrated supply chain solutions. The company’s global headquarters are in Switzerland. The Slovenian subsidiary of Kuehne + Nagel is based in Ljubljana and Ljubljana’s international airport Brnik (which is run by German Fraport, the operator of Frankfurt’s airport). The company’s sales reached 28 million euros last year, a tiny fragment of groups’ overall revenues, which exceeded 17 billion euros. The subsidiary has managed to increase its share of the local market, it took home the award for 2017’s best FDI in logistics.
The selected companies need to fulfill several criteria. One criterion is a minimum number of 50 employees. The company must create a value added of at least 35.000 euros per employee. The jury also evaluates the credit rating of the candidates and eliminates companies which operate in offshore tax haven countries. The awards were presented at the ceremony in Ljubljana in mid-November.