Companies in the Balkans (1959-1963)

Blerim Abedini, Institute for Security Studies and Development ISSD-North Macedonia.

We can conclude that in this short period of time we do not have as many new establishments of manufacturing companies as are the cases of the USA or Western Europe. Among others, there are a large number of sports clubs established in different Balkan regions. Also sports infrastructures such as football stadiums among which is the Marakana(established 1963y) with a capacity of 53,000 spectators and by further reconstruction in the 2017 year. So, the Second World War created a vacuum in social life, which shows that the interest of the population in sports activities is great as a way to remove nostalgia impressions from the Second World War. Various festivals established Universities of many fields, research Institutes for scientific fields, Television broadcasts, Theater, Film, Orchestral choir, Museums, Archeological research, new National Parks, etc. In Turkey and Greece have been created many new political parties for the protection of people’s rights for free speech and freedom of expression for their demands. All together are an attempt to raise human awareness and motivate for an active life in the societies of those times.

(The year 1959) Vindija is a Croatian food company based in Varaždin, mainly known for its dairy products and beverages. It was founded in 1959 with fifteen workers. In 1965, the dairy was integrated into a larger company ‘Kalnik’. In 1972, the new branch ‘Zagrebačka Mljekara’ started. But Varaždin dairy continued to hold its name ‘RO Vindija’ in the1979 year, and in1983 started to produce pudding, fermented products, and desserts. In 1990, the company entered into a large investment that resulted in it becoming a major Croatian company. The Vindija campus spreads of a total of 22,000 square meters (240,000 sq ft) by high ecological and cleanliness standards. Its best-known brands include “Z bregov” milk products and “Vindi” juices and beverages.

(The year 1959) Archirodon Group NV is a Greek company with headquarters in Dordrecht, Netherlands, and Greece, that provides services relating to the construction and maintenance of maritime infrastructure and other construction works on an international basis. The main fields of construction work are marine, dredging, and land reclamation contractors; heavy contractors for the oil and gas, power, and water industries; electromechanical and infrastructure contractors; geotechnical and foundation engineering services. Started by building the Port of Benghazi in Libya (1961) and subsequently the port of Beirut in Lebanon (1962). Archirodon owns and operates a fleet of 155 vessels which are used for transportation, dredging, towing, and docking.

(The year 1960) Hemofarm ( Farmaceutsko-hemijska industrija Vršac), a member of STADA Group, is a Serbian pharmaceutical company based in Vršac, Serbia. Founded in 1960, it is one of the largest domestic producers and exporters of medicines in Serbia. Hemofarm currently operates in more than 30 countries on 3 continents and has around 3,000 employees. The core activity represents the manufacture of Rx and OTC medicines and products. In 2003, it opened the first factory for the production of medicine in entity Republika Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina. As of 2003, Hemofarm consisted of 21 subsidiaries, 12 of which were located in Serbia and the rest in Montenegro. In 2004, the company acquired four other Serbian concerns, increasing its market share from 15% to 45% in the process. As of 2011, the company has a market share in terms of production and import of 30.7%. Hemofarm was bought by the German STADA Arzneimittel pharmaceutical group for 480 million euros in 2006. Since 9 August 2009 Hemofarm has been a member of the German STADA Group. In August 2016, Hemofarm bought the assets of a minor pharmaceutical company. Hemofarm’s R&D division was established in 1990, and it has been recognized by STADA as a competence center for the development of new generic products not only for local and regional markets but also for the whole STADA Group. The intensive development of products intended for registration and sale in the demanding European Union market started in the 2007 year.

(The year 1961) Philkeram Johnson was the first and largest ceramic tiles producer in Greece, established by the Philippou family and Christos Constantopoulos. In the 2000s, it occupied 350 people and had an annual production of 4,500,000 m². Almost 30% of the production was exported to more than 29 countries. In 1969 Richard Tiles Ltd merged with H & R Johnson Ltd, leading the company’s title to be changed again to Philkeram – Johnson. The staff stood at 350 people and the sheltered company area covered 21,000 m2. In 1979, H & R Johnson was acquired by Nocros Plc, which today still owns 50% of Philkeram – Johnson. In 1982 Industrial Mining S.A. is founded, which produced market building materials, with special expertise in tile adhesives and grouts. In 1987 year, a new product became available to the market, as floor tiles for special purposes. The company participated in the exhibition tiles in Los Angeles, 1987, and was awarded second prize among 400 exhibitors, thus entering dynamically in the U.S. market. In 1994, Hippocampus. Later, Philkeram Johnson was certified with the ISO: 9002, while Industrial Mining with ISO: 9001. In 2003, “Jumpo I”, a sophisticated production line is installed, an investment of €6,000,000 which radically changed the production structure of the company. Five years later, in 2008, the second sophisticated production line, “Jumpo II”, was installed.

During 2009 continued the downward trend of the company. The number of sales decreased by €6,372,478.02 or 20.98%, reaching over €23,996,138.88 €30,368,616.90, while financial expenses amounted to 2.444 million euros. The unit cost of energy (electricity and gaseous fuels) decreased by 16.78%. The net result amounted to a loss of around €5,649,186.00 €5,170,331.00 against a loss last year. The construction market continues to decline, reaching an annual basis to (-) 49%. The 2010 year sales amounted to €14,099,464.44 compared, a decrease of 9,897 million, or 41.24% while financial expenses amounted to 2.114 million euro against 2.444 in 2009. The unit cost of energy has increased by 33.62% while losses amounted to €7,954,990, compared to 5.649 million in 2009.

(The year 1963) Alro SA is one of the biggest aluminum companies in Romania and in Europe. It started operation in 1965. Alro’s primary aluminum facilities are located in Slatina and currently are smelter and processing facilities. It also includes a cast house, hot and cold rolling mills, and an extrusion shop. In 2007 the output of primary aluminum reached 283,000 tonnes thus making Alro the largest aluminum producer in Eastern Europe. More than 80% of Alro output is sold on the international market. Alro’s products are sold throughout the European Union, in Italy, Greece, Austria, and Hungary, as well as Turkey, the Balkan countries, and the United States. Alro is a metal brand registered on the London Metal Exchange. Alro is listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (ALR ticker) and has a market capitalization of around US$2 billion. In September 2005, Alro bought from Balli Group 67% of Alum a Romanian company that produced 540,000 tonnes of alumina in 2006 for around US$ 9 million. In December 2005 Alro bought a remaining 25% of Alum shares from SIF1 for around US$4.4 million. In 2002, Alro was privatized and taken over by Marco Industries BV (later renamed Vimetco NV). Vimetco NV, a Dutch company listed on the London Stock Exchange (Vico), owns 84% of Alro’s shares.

(The year 1963) Ivo Lola Ribar Institute (Институт Иво Лола Рибар) is a Serbian manufacturer of heavy machine tools, robotics, industrial equipment, and industrial computers. It has been named after Croatian People’s Hero of Yugoslavia Ivo Lola Ribar. Ivo Lola Ribar Institute was founded in 1963 by decree of the Government of Serbia. In its current form, it operates since 31 December 1985. During the 1980s, it was one of the leading technology institutes in former Yugoslavia.

(The year 1963) SIMPO ( SIMPO a.d. Vranje) is a Serbian home furnishing manufacturer and retailer, with headquarters in Vranje. Founded as Sima Pogačarević furniture factory. A period of growth and prosperity for the company, transforming a small company with 370 employees into one of the most successful Yugoslav companies. In 1995, SIMPO sold its water-bottling company “Vlasinska voda” to Coca-Cola HBC for 20 million euros. During the 2010s, the company became unprofitable, which resulted in a cutting the number of employees, from around 4,400 in 2013 to around 2,600 as of 2016.