Gummiwerk Kraiburg closed the 2003 financial year with positive results. The company reported reports sales up by nine per cent in comparison with the previous year, and a rise in turnover amounting to six per cent. With sales up by 20 per cent, the „hotcure“ segment showed above-average progress, while „precure“ remained steady at two per cent up. Kraiburg report that the Central European market is holding up at last year’s level and the Eastern European markets are growing.
Even before the dramatic changes in the worldwide economy after September 11th, the retreading business, as well as its suppliers, was facing hard times. Reduced demand, increased competition and price pressure characterised the depressed market. It was not unusual for material suppliers to experience a decrease in their third quarter results of around 20 percent. Uncertainty, pessimism and negative forecasts represented the collective mood in wide areas of the business. But Kraiburg, the Geretsberg (Austria)-based retreading supplier, is swimming against the stream and reports stable economic results and new strategic activities to meet future market challenges. Kraiburg’s turnover in 2001, up till end October, is just half a percent below the company’s performance for the first ten months last year. In addition, an agreement for a joint venture with the Bulgarian company Zebra was finalised in October. Since 1997 the Sofia based company Zebra has produced thin and light tread patterns which would have been uneconomic to produce in Austria. Kraiburg has invested around one million Euro in Zebra’s tread pattern production and 95 percent of the joint venture shares belong to Kraiburg. Within the next two years the Bulgarian production will be increased from 800 to 1,800 tons per year – using the same machinery and equipment.