Companies in the Balkans (1953-1955)

Blerim Abedini, Institute for Security Studies and Development, ISSD-NM

During this early post-World war period Balkan countries are restructuring companies based on market directions. We may differ that industries in Yugoslavia have collaboration with western European industries because of the non-Alliance position of Yugoslavia. Other Balkan countries in the Soviet Union are facing slow restructuring. Is important to see how private-owned companies were nationalized and managed by the government. Consequences of nationalization are seen at the end of the XX century with the periodic stopping of production and bankruptcy.

(The year 1953) Zagreb Film is a Croatian film company principally known for its animation studio for documentaries, television commercials, educational films, etc. Zagreb Film has production of 600 animated films, 14 feature films, about 600 documentaries and 800 commercials as well as 600 educational. The company received more than 400 awards on Festivals globaly as it is Oscar for the best animated short film in 1962. Most of these films were distributed internationally. The biggest global success was with the famous character of ‘Professor Balthazar’.

(The year 1953) Aerostar S.A. is an aeronautical manufacturing company based in Bacău, Romania. Since its establishment, the company’s name has been changed numerous times to the final one-Aerostar. It has been a subsidiary of the Ministry of Armed Forces, Air Defence Headquarters, the Ministry of Machine-Building Industry, of the Bucharest Aeronautical Group- the Romanian Aeronautical industry. Aerostar produced three versions of aircraft: the Iak-52, Iak-52W, and Iak-52TW. Also developed own range of the light civil aircraft for aerobatics and sport aviation. After the privatization process from the 1990s by the government for selling operational sectors to foreign companies production will be restructured. Between the 1990s-2000s, Aerostar in cooperation with the Israeli defense electronics specialist Elbit Systems produced the Romanian Air Force’s MiG-21 Lancer fleet. Continous partnership projects with Thales Group (Thomson-CSF), EADS (Daimler Chrysler Aerospace), and Textron Marine & Land Systems. Aerostar was involved in the LAROM modernization program, which upgraded the 40 APRA 122 FMC multiple rocket launchers belonging to the Romanian Army. Also have contracted to produce Southern Condor-powered parachute airframes for the American company Southern Powered Parachutes. Until the 2010s, Aerostar has continued develop its operations. In 2011, the Aerostar company received work from an agreement between Elbit and the Romanian Air Force to upgrade the latter’s fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules cargo planes. In 2012, a new hangar was completed at the company’s Bacau facility. In 2015, Russian airline Utair arranged for its 737 fleets to be serviced in Aerostar; Also has provided MRO services for operators of the Airbus A320 family.

(The year 1953) “Fabrika Reznog Alata” is a Serbian tool manufacturing company with 560 employees; It is focused on the production of carvers and taps, threading tools, and tools for working openings and cutters, tools and plants for production services. Due to the breakup of Yugoslavia and the sanctions which were put into the effect during the 1990s, the company has begun to deteriorate. In the 2000s with reduced profitability has gone through many financial problems and still is recovering. In 2007, it was submitted to the Belgrade Stock Exchange. Since April 2010, the company is restructuring in order to create conditions for eventual privatization.

(The year 1954) ‘Makedoniapat’ is a state-owned limited liability company tasked with management, construction, and maintenance of motorways in North Macedonia. Duties and responsibilities of the company are: regular and winter maintenance of national and regional roads, designing smaller road facilities, paving smaller sections, and patching holes. Design, fabrication, and installation of vertical and horizontal signalization, road protection, automatic and manual traffic counting, cadastre of roads and bridges, information service for the state of the roads; The government has announced in 2017 that the company has a debt of 7 million euros.

(The year 1954) ‘Krka’ is an international pharmaceutical company in Slovenia. Krka also had production and distribution centers in Russia, Poland, Croatia, and Germany. Krka sells products to more than 70 countries. In 2018, Krka Group’s total sales amounted to 1.332 billion euros with 11,390 employees. By placing its shares on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange in 1997, Krka was transformed into a public limited company. In 2003, Krka-Rus built a new production facility in the northwest of Moscow. The total costs amounted to $45 million. In 2007, Krka acquired its first company abroad.

(The year 1954) Tomos was a moped manufacturer based in Koper, Slovenia. Tomos acquired a production license from Puch. Since, produced various goods for the Eastern European market, including motorcycles, mopeds, outboard motors, and Citroën cars for the home market. Tomos mopeds were also produced in Netherland in 1966. The Dutch development team was responsible for the introduction of models like the Colibri, Targa, and Revival. Tomos was the last remaining moped factory in the Netherlands, surviving at least 36 others since 1966. Tomos mopeds were sold in the U.S. from 1976 to 2014. Recently Tomos has also expanded to the United Kingdom. In the 1990s Tomos came out with the Sprint, Targa, and Targa LX. The Tomos USA was started in South Carolina, in a new office and warehouse complex of over 24,000 sq ft (2,200 m2). In 2006 the A35 engine was replaced with the A55. This new engine featured lighter-weight rotating parts as well as a better power output. This engine is currently used on all 50cc applications. A contract was signed with Germany’s BMW to produce component parts for some of its units. New models introduced in previous years such as the MC Off-Road Line, Revival, Streetmate, and Arrow. Tomos went bankrupt on January 3, 2019.

(The year 1955) The Jablanica Dam is an arch-gravity dam on the Neretva River about 4 km (2.5 mi) in Bosnia. The dam was constructed between 1947 and 1955 with the primary purpose of hydroelectric power production. The power station was commissioned in two stages, from 1955 until 1958. An upgrade in 2008 increased the installed capacity of the power station from 150 MW to 180 MW. It contains six 30 MW Francis turbine-generators for an installed capacity of 180 MW. The difference in elevation between the reservoir and power station afford a hydraulic head (water drop) of 111 m (364 ft).  The dam is 85 m (279 ft) tall and creates Jablanica lake. The dam and power station are owned and operated by “Elektroprivreda Bosne i Hercegovine”. ( )

(The year 1955) Atlantska Plovidba mainly located in Dubrovnik- Croatia is a shipping company that works mostly in the dry bulk and heavy lift markets, serving both domestic and international clients. The fleet of Dubrovnik consisted of about 200,000 gross register tons (GRT) until WWII. The nine ships left after WWII was nationalized and given to the Yugoslav company Jugolinija based in Rijeka. After several years, citizens of Dubrovnik petitioned Yugoslavia’s State Executive Committee to denationalize the fleet. The state agreed, and as a result, “Atlantska Plovidba” was re-founded on May 27, 1955. In the beginning, these ships burnt coal, were capable of six to eight knots, and were, on average, 35 years old. After WWII was built a fleet of 20 ships of a combined 183,000 GRT by 1965. In addition to tripling its tonnage, the new building program cut the average ship age to 17 years. In 1976, Atlantska Plovidba built their largest dry cargo ship, MV Jadran at 72,887 DWT, and in the 1980s, added 5 Panamax vessels, increasing fleet tonnage by 310,000 DWT. From 1991 to 1995, the company’s operations were disturbed by the Croatian War of Independence. During the war, the Croatian ship registry was not recognized, and for a time, Atlantska Plovidba registered its ships with the Maltese Registry( in Malta). By 2001, the fleet had a capacity of 779,378 DWT and the company started to diversify its operations into shipping and travel agencies, hotels, and airlines. In 2005, the company founded a charter airline company. The company has contributed to maritime education in Croatia by helping three institutions of higher learning, the Dubrovnik Maritime Nautical College in 1959, the Dubrovnik Maritime Engineer College in 1964, and Dubrovnik Maritime University in 1986. As of 2008, the Atlantska Plovidba fleet consists of 21 ships of three types: bulk carriersheavy-lift ships, and Coastal trading vessels.