SOFIA (Bulgaria), March 18 (SeeNews) - Czech Republic-based steel radiator manufacturer Korado Group expects no negative developments, from an operational point of view, to arise from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the company's unit in Bulgaria said on Wednesday.
The reason is that the parent company does not receive supplies from the most affected countries such as China and South Korea, unlike the automotive industry, Korado Bulgaria said in a statement.
The spread of the infection, however, could lead to cancellation of important events such as meetings with investors, fairs and participation in exhibitions, Korado Bulgaria added.
The situation with steel prices is different, though, as there are huge production capacities in China that Korado is not currently using.
"But the market will be influenced to some extent and it is difficult to guess which way steel prices will go," Korado Bulgaria said.
"I am really glad that despite the turbulent environment in the steel industry, similar to the environment in the previous few years, the operations of Korado Bulgaria were not much affected," Korado Group CEO Vojtech Chamek was quoted as saying in an interview e-mailed by the Bulgarian unit.
The coronavirus pandemic can easily change and transform the standard business models the group is used to, the CEO noted.
Chamek added that Korado Bulgaria's long-term goal is to become part of the main SOFIX index of the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE).
"At the moment we are implementing all of the main requirements in order to become part of this index and our participation depends solely on the performance of our shares."
Despite the complicated economic conditions and constantly rising prices of basic production materials, 2019 was successful for Korado Bulgaria, the company's executive director Jiri Reznicek said in the statement.
Korado Bulgaria’s main goal is to maintain its market share in the segment of panel radiators, its main product, Reznicek said adding that the company sees growing interest in tubular radiators.
Korado Bulgaria's after-tax profit fell by 19% on the year to 4.3 million levs ($2.4 million/2.2 million euro) in 2019 due to increased prices of basic materials and higher cost of employee benefits, the company said.
Turnover decreased by 3% to 42.5 million levs, while sales amounted to 551,000 pieces, up by 1% compared to 2018. In 2019, Korado Bulgaria produced over 455,000 panel radiators and over 87,000 tubular units.
(1 euro = 1.95583 levs)