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Published: 1 september 2020 13:22

RETAL Lithuania predicts stable 2020

Vilma Kybartiene
Vilma Kybartiene

Global plastic packaging manufacturer RETAL actively follows the megatrends that impact on its business and its multinational food and beverage brand customers, enabling it to stay financially stable and environmentally responsible, even during the unpredicted difficulties that 2020 has seen.

UAB RETAL Lithuania, the Lentvaris-based facility that is the largest of RETAL's global factories, also follows Lithuanian national trends and regulations, highlighted by its financial achievements of EUR 129 million revenue and EUR 5.8 million profit last year, based on audited data. The company predicts its 2020 figures will maintain last year’s production volumes and stable profits, with additional focus on digitising operations, diversifying the company’s portfolio and increased use of recycled raw materials.

Vilma Kybartienė, general manager of RETAL Lithuania, appreciates how being part of a global business continues to strengthen its position. She says, “While no one could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic, as a privately-owned company with factories and facilities worldwide, we have been able to support each other. We are especially grateful that our business is considered part of the essential supply chain, so sharing best practice for production in particular is enabling us to keep our workforce safe and healthy.”

Kybartiene explains how the facility's clear strategy has allowed it to perform well in recent months. “While we do feel the impact of the pandemic, we were successful in handling staff safety matters during the first wave of the virus in conjunction with some reduced consumption in our main markets. So we are actively looking at new areas, clients and products, and also strengthening and expanding our laboratory. For example, disinfectant liquid bottles make great use of our PET preforms, and we have plans for various other new products. We understand that the diversification of the product portfolio is necessary to ensure sustainable growth and we are motivated by this opportunity.”

Growth opportunities

In 2019, RETAL Lithuania saw a slight sales revenue decrease (4.5%) compared to 2018, with this occurring primarily due to the fall in PET material prices on international markets, which is directly reflected in the pricing of PET preforms. However, sales outside of Lithuania increased on a greater laver, with RETAL Lithuania was able to increase sales in Germany by 11% and 9% in the Baltic States – representing important markets to the company. In total, the company exported more than 90% of its production last year, mostly to Northern Europe (Germany, Poland and the Baltic region). RETAL purchased Lithuanian goods and services last year for around EUR 50 million, representing 80% of the total purchases made by RETAL Lithuania.

RETAL Lithuania predicts it will maintain last year’s production volume in 2020 despite the global pandemic. The company has yet to present sales revenue predictions due to volatile raw material markets.

Investing in excellence

Kybartienė highlights how RETAL continues to focus its attention on human resources, energy efficiency, secondary raw materials and digitisation. Having launched the largest roof-based solar power plant in Lithuania last year, which produces up to 1.4 MW of power, RETAL Lithuania has planned further investment purchasing more effective production equipment, more modern lighting systems and other solutions. This year the company is also investing significantly in internal training and increasing the qualifications of its staff.

Kybartienė adds, “We are also investing in digitisation and automation, while also continuing to implement the SAP system. It has made us review our existing processes, automate some of them, relinquish a part and view another part in a completely different light.”

RETAL Lithuania sees significant challenges ahead from 2025, with EU requirements stipulating the necessity to use 25% of secondary (recycled) PET raw materials. For some years, RETAL Lithuania has had the technical capacity in-house to produce preforms from 100% recycled raw materials, with some of the company’s customers already applying or even exceeding the 25% requirement.

Kybartienė says, “It is unfortunate that there are currently no secondary PET raw material producers in Lithuania, so we must currently import it. Also, some EU countries lack a centralised PET collection system. We manage this risk by optimising the recycled raw material supply chain, partnering with suppliers. We have continued to increase the use of recycled raw materials, perfecting our processes and technologies. As a global company, we are convinced that a responsible, transparent circular economy is the best solution, but we also have to act within what is possible now and do the best we can.”

About RETAL

RETAL develops and manufactures high-quality polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging solutions, including preforms, closures, containers and films. Globally-active, RETAL supplies customers in over 60 countries worldwide. Strongly focused on quality and flexibility, RETAL is ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 22000 accredited. Parent company RETAL Industries Ltd, whose president is Anatoly Martynov, is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus. 

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