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CONSTRUCTION BRIEFS

Sibamac now profiting

Of Slovakia's mid-sized construction firms, perhaps none had a more encouraging year in 1996 than Bratislava-based Sibamac. After pre-tax losses of nearly 50 million Sk in '95 ($1.6 million), the company turned around and gained a modest pre-tax profit of 6.6 million Sk ($220,000) last year.

One key man in this turnaround, Sibamac's chief financial officer Richard Teichmann, is far from satisfied though. "Our goal for 1997 is more than 1 billion Sk ($33.3 million) of business," he said. "But I am not for growth only on turnover, but on profit. There is still work to be done in this area."

Increased efficiency has been integral to the company's improvement, as its total number of employees decreased from 1,205 in January '96 to 958 by December. Teichmann said more labor restructuring is in the works, but it is not likely to result in cuts on the scale of last year. A recently-installed computerized management information system is allowing the firm to better monitor its projects and negotiate new contracts.

According to Teichmann, Sibamac will continue with the kinds of projects that brought it success last year. The company's prize project of 1996 was the headquarters building for Siemens in Bratislava. This year, it will finish an automotive parts plant in the southwestern town of Kolárovo, and it has contracts to build petrol stations for Shell, Esso and Transpetrol. Add to that more housing projects such as those going up in the northern Bratislava suburbs of Stupava and Zohor, and Sibamac appears poised to have a strong year.

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