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Shining examples


The plant where Sapa Profiles Kft is located was founded in 1941 under 100% German ownership as the Foundation Magyar Bauxitbánya Rt and Dürener Metallwerke AG (Berlin).

It began production in the casting, rolling, and tube pulling of aluminium in 1943 and remained under Soviet and Hungarian ownership for ten years before becoming a completely Hungarian company in 1955.

Early investments in new cast houses and rolling buildings, along with the addition of a new extrusion building and an anodizing plant in the following decades positioned the company for its next big move: acquisition by major international aluminium producer Alcoa in 1993. The extrusion plant was most recently acquired by Sapa, Europe’s largest aluminium profile manufacturer, in 2007.

Sapa is a multinational group that develops, produces and sells high added-value aluminium products for a wide range of applications. Based in Székesfehérvár and with a warehouse in Budapest for smaller clients, the Hungarian branch of Sapa plays a vital role in providing manufacturers in Europe with quality aluminium profiles. It employs 900 people at its factory and achieves revenues in excess of 300 million EUR annually.

“We are a one-stop shopping plant,” says John van den Nieuwelaar, managing director for Sapa. “We can deliver long profiles as well as aluminium components that have been bent, machined and surface treated. That makes them more cost-efficient and attractive than others which have undergone a long supply chain.”

Sapa manufactures its aluminium profiles on seven extrusion presses that use aluminium billets between 6 and 11 inches and produces profiles from 80 g to 20 kg per running meter. As a whole, Sapa Profiles Kft markets its products to all market segments except for the aircraft industry. Main markets are distribution, the building industry, industrial end users as well as the areas transportation, automotive and solar.

“The automotive and solar energy markets are booming, especially in Germany,” Mr. van den Nieuwelaar says. “We see these as promising growth markets for us.” Sapa’s marketing efforts include a website, printed brochures and sponsorship of a local ice hockey team, as well as direct marketing efforts.

At present, roughly 93% of Sapa’s business consists of exports, with Germany representing its largest geographic market. But that is poised to change as more and more manufacturers turn to aluminium instead of steel.

The list of renowned customers includes Ferrari, Audi, Aston Martin, Porsche, Mercedes and Lamborghini. “Aluminium is definitely on the upswing,” Mr. van den Nieuwelaar says.

Customers who work with Sapa find that the company is a reliable partner for all of their aluminium profile needs. They receive the utmost in service in the design and planning of custom-made aluminium products. Sapa also offers an array of packing and logistic options.

Like most manufacturers, Sapa has not been immune to the current economic crisis. But with new products in the pipeline, constant attention to efficiency, and a high-value product with limitless applications, many of them in emerging industries, Sapa is confident that new markets will allow it to shine in the coming years.

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