BUSINESS FOCUS - AUSTRIA

Bon Appétit with Slovak-Austrian cutlery

THE ONLY producer of cutlery in Slovakia, Sandrik, has been allied in its activities with Austrian investor Berndorf since 1992.
Both companies are based on a solid tradition. Berndorf has produced cutlery for about 150 years and Sandrik was founded about 100 years ago.

THE ONLY producer of cutlery in Slovakia, Sandrik, has been allied in its activities with Austrian investor Berndorf since 1992.

Both companies are based on a solid tradition. Berndorf has produced cutlery for about 150 years and Sandrik was founded about 100 years ago.

The mutual cooperation started in the early 20th century. But after the Second World War, when the nationalization of private property was completed, it was interrupted.

After the Velvet Revolution, the partnership was renewed. Berndorf gained a 100 percent share in Sandrik in Hodruša-Hámre, central Slovakia, in 1994.

The company produces various types of cutlery - from the simplest, made of chrome and steel, to more complicated silver pieces. All together, it offers about 27 models of cutlery.

"Silver cutlery for six people can cost about Sk60,000 (€1,458). Such a luxurious cutlery set consists of about 1.5 kilograms of silver," said Štefan Janček, financial director of Berndorf Sandrik. "Ordinary chrome-steel cutlery can cost as little as Sk400 (€9.72)."

More than half of the cutlery produced is exported, mainly to the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Russia, but also to France, Switzerland, and Austria. "In Norway, for example, where people respect tradition, we export only silver cutlery," said Janček.

The cutlery makes up 90 percent of the production programme of Berndorf Sandrik. The company also uses its stamping machines for German automotive companies.

The end users of Berndorf Sandrik cutlery are households, as well as restaurants and cafeterias. "The restaurant and tourism market is now experiencing a revival after a long stagnation in 1999 and 2000, which is, of course, good for our industry as well," Janček added.

The sum of annual production in Sandrik Berndorf reaches about Sk80 million (€1.94 million).

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