Loadstar is Sri Lanka’s single largest exporter
On September 28, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Solideal Loadstar won three gold awards at the country’s 15th Annual Export Awards, conducted by the National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE). The awards were: “Most Outstanding Exporter – Industry Rubber Products Extra Large category”; “Most Outstanding Exporter – Industry Rubber Products”; and “Most Outstanding Exporter – Overall Winner”.
The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka (NCE) has been hosting the prestigious Export Awards Ceremony since 1993 in an effort to recognize and reward export excellence in Sri Lanka. Over the past 15 years, the number of entries has risen from 19 to 132. Applicants were judged on overall net export turnover, export growth, product and market diversification, export values by principal markets, new products introduced, and special certifications.
“Our team in Solideal Loadstar deserves these awards for their hard work and commitment. Worldwide, the Solideal group’s connection to Sri Lanka is a source of pride, especially the great contribution to the economy and the country’s reputation for quality products,” said Cesar Clemente, CEO of the Solideal Group.
Solideal Loadstar accounts for over 2 per cent of the nation’s near 7 billion dollar export earnings, according to the company. Catering to customers in the North America, Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East, Solideal Loadstar turns out thousands of tyres per day.
25 per cent market share
“[Loadstar] is the world market leaders in solid tyres with a 25 per cent share of the global market,” Chairman Nihal Jinasena told reporters. The firm is a 40:60 joint venture between the Jinasena Group and Solideal of Belgium respectively. The company has been experiencing consistent growth in turnover which reached 28 billion rupees (£348 million) in 2006, Jinasena said, adding:
“We have been having a 25 per cent year-on-year annual growth rate for the past 10 years. We hope to achieve 40 billion rupees in turnover in 2008/09.”
Loadstar has been investing 800-900 million rupees (£10.5 million) each year for the past three years to expand capacity. A 1,350 million rupee expansion is planned for this year. Its plants in Sri Lanka now have a capacity of 8,500 tonnes and are exporting 7,500 tonnes of tyres a month. Loadstar fabricates its own presses and curing ovens and constantly re-engineers them to improve production speeds and energy efficiency.
Loadstar also makes giant construction tyres weighing over 1,000 kilograms. Solideal has nine factories in Sri Lanka and is an original equipment maker for brands like Caterpillar, Fiat, Komatsu, John Deere and Yale. The firm earns about two billion Sri Lanka rupees (£93 million) a year and has net assets of about 7.5 billion rupees, Jinasena was quoted as saying.