“Our long term strategic goal is to be the most effective and most modern manufacturers in Europe. As such, significantly exceeding the symbolic 300 million euro turnover threshold is yet another important mark when pursuing this goal. Last year’s result was due to constant investment into development and staff yielding good returns. Just last year, innovative robotics and automation solutions, as well as advanced management methods increased the entire SBA furniture sector’s efficiency by 16%,” SBA VP Egidijus Valentinavičius summarises the 2019 results.
In an absolute sense, from among all the SBA furniture sector’s manufacturers, the largest sales were recorded last year by companies managed by SBA Baldų Kompanija. Klaipėdos Baldai grew almost 18% over the year, reaching 86 million euro. One of the largest employers in Lithuania, the Visaginas based Visagino Linija increased its sales by 13% over the year, reaching 85 million euro. The Šilutė city and region based companies retained sales of a similar level to 2018: Germanika sold production worth 53 million euro last year, while Šilutės Baldai – 37 million euro. The Belarus based Mebelain increased its sales by 13% over the year, reaching 34 million euro.
There was particularly rapid growth in the SBA furniture sector’s sole soft furniture manufacturer – Kauno Baldai, which increased its sales last year by 21%, reaching 20.5 million euro. Such results were mostly due to a successful entry into the German market and increased exports to Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.
According to E. Valentinavičius, this year the largest challenge to manufacturers will be global market turbulences, global trade wars and also labour market trends in Lithuania – the lack of qualified specialists.
“Production manufactured in SBA furniture companies is sold around the world – in almost 50 countries, ranging from North America to Europe and Asia. Despite a fairly tumultuous external environment, we plan continued growth this year and will invest more into both expansion of capacities and into efficiency, as well as staff qualifications. We hope that our plans will not be derailed by such “black swans” as a global virus pandemic,” E. Valentinavičius says.
The SBA furniture sector’s companies export 95% of their production. Last year, the SBA furniture company employed a further 90 staff, reaching a current staff count of 3,580 employees.
The SBA Group is one of the largest in the country, operating in real estate, textile and furniture manufacturing sectors. The group’s companies employ close to 5,000 employees. Other than Kauno Baldai, the furniture sector is comprised of the SBA Furniture Company, which manages Klaipėdos Baldai, Šilutės Baldai, Germanika, Visagino Linija, Mebelain SBA’s real estate sector includes Urban Inventors, which is developing the Green Hall business valley in Vilnius and the BLC business centre in Kaunas, also the investment management company Capitalica Asset Management, which manages the Kaunas based business centre Kauno Dokas, the Vilnius based 135 and will develop the modern office compound Verde in Riga’s Skanste area close to the city’s centre. The SBA textiles sector is comprised of the innovative apparel manufacturer Utenos Trikotažas together with the companies Šatrija and Mrija. Last year, SBA obtained the robotics solutions company Robotex and founded SBA Modular, which plans to construct modular multi-storey buildings.