Armex Energy celebrated its tenth anniversary on the first of April this year and looks back on a decade of steady growth.
Director for Strategy and Development Ivo Pavelek has clocked up twice that length of time in the energy industry and still finds its development fascinating: “I joined Armex Energy in 2013. It still felt like a new company with new ideas which is why I was motivated to make the move here.”
Armex Energy still ranks as a relative newcomer to the energy market and is still working to generate new business with end consumers and business customers in energy and gas supply.
In the beginning, it focused only on small and medium- sized companies but after five years it also added products for private end consumers to its portfolio.
“Since 2011 we have opened up activities in the gas market as well so that we can now also supply gas to our customers,” says Mr. Pavelek. “Initially growth was slow with 10,000 end consumers won as customers by 2013. Now that figure is growing more quickly and we now serve 35,000 private households with energy and gas supplies. That was one of our goals and I am pleased with the progress we have made so far, but we still have some way to go to meet our target of 100,000 clients.”
Armex Energy hopes its network of customer contact points will persuade more end users to sign up for its services. Establishing the network was one of the company’s medium term aims and it now numbers 22 individual service points, mainly in the northern and eastern Bohemia and southern Moravia.
With the growth of this network, the ranks of Armex Energy’s employees have swelled rapidly. The workforce numbered 88 at the end of 2014 but has now risen to 118. Turnover in 2015 is expected to rise to 1.3 billion CZK (47 million EUR) in 2015.
“After just ten years in the market we already rank among the top ten energy and gas suppliers in the Czech Republic,” says Mr. Pavelek. “We also have plans to expand our areas of activity in the future.”
There are currently two projects in the pipeline. The first concerns the sale of gas boilers through the customer contact centres. “We already have a company in our holding group that is focused on servicing gas boilers and we aim to establish a sales network to complement this activity,” explains Mr. Pavelek. The other project is similar to the first but larger in scale. “We intend to build much larger boilers for apartment buildings or office blocks,” says Mr. Pavelek. “Heating strategies in the Czech Republic are changing in recognition of the fact that the supply of brown coal is dwindling.”
The imminent crisis in the supply of brown coal, which has been traditionally used to heat buildings in the past, is encouraging many consumers, for example tenement owners, in the Czech Republic to rethink their heating strategy. Armex Energy is working on a solution that will allow it to offer customers an alternative that includes financing.
Another growing trend is green energy. Although Armex Energy is not active in building renewable energy projects itself, it can source green energy for its customers if requested.
“At present, this is not the uppermost concern in most of our clients’ minds but this will certainly become more of an issue in the future,” says Mr. Pavelek. “For the time being we are focusing on expanding our network of customer contact points to ensure nationwide coverage to be closer to our customers.”
Armex Energy is keen to set itself apart from its competitors in its behavior and its values. Its philosophy is based on three key values: fair performance, open communications and stability.
“That is the main reason why I joined Armex Energy,” says Mr. Pavelek. “It plays straight with its customers in a way that a lot of other players in the energy sector do not.”