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Construction firms build on big '96

After five years of inactivity that saw total construction production in Slovakia sliced in half, 1996 was the second straight year of modest gains. An industry that had a total production volume of 115 billion Sk in 1989 and fell to 55 billion Sk by '94, should rise to 60 billion Sk in '97, according to Euroconstruct estimates.
The biggest chunk of that business - 36% in '95 -is engineering projects, with industrial construction ranking second at 28%. Reconstruction is third at 15%, public construction composed 13%, and residential building made up the remaining 8%.
One firm that is rising with the times is Sibamac, which ranked eighth among Slovak construction firms with a turnover of more than 720 million Sk in '95. That figure is expected to jump to over 1 billion Sk this year. The Austrian side of Sibamac entered the Slovak market five years ago by privatizing parts of Dubnica-based Stavoindustria.

After five years of inactivity that saw total construction production in Slovakia sliced in half, 1996 was the second straight year of modest gains. An industry that had a total production volume of 115 billion Sk in 1989 and fell to 55 billion Sk by '94, should rise to 60 billion Sk in '97, according to Euroconstruct estimates.

The biggest chunk of that business - 36% in '95 -is engineering projects, with industrial construction ranking second at 28%. Reconstruction is third at 15%, public construction composed 13%, and residential building made up the remaining 8%.

One firm that is rising with the times is Sibamac, which ranked eighth among Slovak construction firms with a turnover of more than 720 million Sk in '95. That figure is expected to jump to over 1 billion Sk this year. The Austrian side of Sibamac entered the Slovak market five years ago by privatizing parts of Dubnica-based Stavoindustria.

The firm remains strong in the Váh valley, is the market leader in Trnava, and is gaining strength in Bratislava, where its headquarters are, according to the company's management. One source of pride for the firm is its information management system, which company executives claim to be as good as any in Slovakia.

Domestic construction king Hydrostav may soon make that claim, as they are completing the first stage of a complex IBM information system. Tronet will supply the data and the voice transmission system, and an on-line communication system between headquarters and individual Hydrostav plants will be built during the second stage.

This is part of Hydrostav's effort to stay ahead of second-place Váhostav, which had a monster year in '96, with pre-tax profits of nearly 200 million Sk on 5 billion Sk of revenues. Compared to '95, the firm is concentrating more on domestic projects, such as the local Žilina dam, which will account for 35% of its revenues this year.

Third-ranked Doprastav established a joint venture with Prague-based Metrostav at the end of '96 to focus on highway and tunnel construction in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The new company already has an order to repair a railway tunnel on the eastern end of the Low Tatras, near Telgárt.

Number four Inžinierske Stavby, reported a gross profit of 55 million Sk on 1.7 billion Sk in revenues over the first 11 months of '96 - up from 40.7 million Sk on 1.24 billion Sk for all of '95. More than 40% of its revenues comes from the construction of roads, bridges, and gas pipelines.

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