Superfos has initiated an extensive branding campaign to communicate the company's new profile as a leading packaging manufacturer in Europe, following a restructuring from an industrial conglomerate into a dedicated packaging company.
Superfos Packaging has consequently discarded its last name and will now be known simply as Superfos. The company says that the name change is the first step in a comprehensive development and profiling effort, which will lead Superfos to strengthen its profile as a leading brand name within packaging across Europe and the United States.
In recent years the Superfos Group has developed from being one of Denmark's best known industrial conglomerates into a dedicated packaging manufacturer. The has been achieved through a number of divestments, acquisitions and structural changes. Today, Superfos is Europe's largest and leading manufacturer of moulded plastic packaging. Headquartered in Denmark, Superfos has 14 factories in Europe and one in the United States, 2,000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately €340 million.
"Our name change is a result of our concentration in one primary business area. Today, Superfos' business is packaging only. Therefore, we are now in a position to strengthen our profile and market Superfos as one company and one brand across Europe," said Superfos' CEO, Kim Andersen.
The company says that the rebranding is a continuation of a number of transition projects initiated in 2002. Among other strategies, projects included the acquisition of Jotipac; major production improvements and rationalisations; reorganisation into functional divisions; and harmonisation of the product mix. The company says that this means all production facilities now provide a harmonised European range to large international company groups, which make up the core of Superfos' clients. Furthermore, focused product development projects have enabled the company to introduce a range of new and improved products in 2003 with improved technical performance and a high level of user-friendliness and design.
"Based on this platform, we will now become even more visible in order to consolidate and reinforce our leading position in Europe in a market where our customers are becoming bigger, where they build their own brands with greater skill than ever before and where they establish strong European purchasing organizations", Kim Andersen explained.
Superfos' profiling campaign is based on an internal storytelling and branding process, which was carried out at the beginning of 2003. Internal implementation will continue throughout 2003 at all factories.
"The first visible changes for our customers will be our name change, the registration of Superfos as a brand name as well as a relaunch of our logo, website, etc., starting in May 2003. The aim is to strengthen our partnership and cooperation with our customers in order to ensure competitive packaging solutions to the benefit of end-users," said Andersen.
Superfos claims that its development process has affected its overall performance positively. The company almost doubled its EBITA for 2002 to €11.7 million from €6.5 million the previous year. In 2003, a further improvement of the Superfos Group's EBITA is expected, pushing company earnings to somewhere in the region of €32.0 million.
Kim Andersen explains: "The positive outlook for 2003 is primarily based on last year's rationalisations including three factory closures. This will result in derived positive earnings. The level of costs, including non-recurrent charges, has been reduced in 2003 compared to 2002. This has already affected our result in the first quarter of 2003, but it will not have full effect until the third and fourth quarters."
"In the first half of 2003, we will still concentrate on implementing and integrating production transferred from the closed factories to the other European factories. So far, this process has not been trouble-free and has affected our level of delivery service in the first quarter. In addition to the complex product and factory rationalisations, delayed delivery of production equipment from our suppliers has affected first quarter earnings. This is a very significant factor for increasing production capacity. We expect to solve these problems in the second quarter of 2003 and that investments in the latest technology will ensure our customers optimum delivery reliability and high-quality products."
"Therefore, first quarter 2003 EBITA has not lived up to expectations (€3.5 million compared to EUR 5.4 million in 2002). This is also due to increasing prices on raw materials from the beginning of 2003, whereas the first quarter of 2002 was characterized by a favourable relationship between sales prices and prices on raw materials. As the market takes two to three months to react on adjusted sales prices, the divergence in earnings is expected to be limited to the first quarter."
"As a result of our improved efficiency and investments in new technology during the first quarter, we expect an operating profit of approximately €32 million for the entire year", said Andersen.
In addition to packaging activities, Superfos Industries Group also includes Superfos Aerosols in Germany with a turnover of approximately €27.0 milion and around 140 employees. Including Superfos Aerosols, the Superfos Industries Group had a total turnover of €88.0 million in the first quarter of 2003 (€92.0 million in 2002) with an EBITA of €3.5 million (€6.7 million in 2002).
The company says that the total result of the Group in the first quarter is negative due to a decrease in turnover and earnings in Superfos Aerosols (€ 1.0 million from €1.3 million in 2002) because authority approval of two products has not yet been granted. Approval of one of the products is expected soon, while it is still uncertain when the second product will be approved.
Superfos Industries is owned by Industry Kapital 1997 Limited Partnership (67 per cent) and Ratos AB (publ) (33 per cent).