Company from Sv. Križ Začretje exports to over 50 countries.
Designer furniture produced by the Prostoria company from Sv. Križ Začretje is well-known on all continents and is being exported to more than 50 countries worldwide. They currently have 133 employees, but the number should increase in the next few years to over 160, reports tportal.hr on November 2, 2016.
The company owned by Tomislav Knezović recently received a grant from the EU Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme, which will be used for construction and equipping of a new plant for the production of solid wood furniture, mainly from oak and walnut. The investment is worth 17.8 million kuna and the company will receive 4.92 million kuna from EU funds. According to project plans, by 2019 they should increase their revenues by 64 percent and exports by 109 percent. However, the company is confident they will fulfil these goal much sooner.
“We started with the production of furniture, armchairs and chairs, and then went into further development. The new manufacturing facility will be equipped with higher quality technologies which will speed up the production process”, said Mirjana Vidaković from the company which, according to the latest official data, in 2015 had revenues of 45.77 million kuna and profits of 5,190,000 kuna.
Its products are developed in collaboration with Croatian and international designers, such as Numen/For Use collective, Group Studio and Redesign, and Simon Morasi Piperčić. “It was not easy, but in the past five years we have managed to create a brand in the international market. Initially, the most popular products were our sofa beds, but now we are increasingly being known for our armchairs and chairs”, Vidaković said.
Prostoria has leased its own sawmill, which allows it to control that part of production process as well. They previously purchased wood from retailers, but now cooperate with Croatian Forests public company, which guarantees the quality of raw material. “Wood requires special processing, drying and storage in a controlled environment so that the final product would fulfil quality standards”, Vidaković explained.
Although their emphasis is on exports, they have two retail showrooms in Croatia, in Zagreb and Split, and their products are present in many Croatian hotels with four and five stars. “We put greater focus on exports, which now represents 65 percent of our sales, and the number will certainly grow over the years. We are well-positioned in the highly competitive European market, and we achieve our best results in France, Germany and the Benelux countries. We take part in the most important fairs in Milan, Paris, London and Cologne. They are very important to us because that is where we find new customers”, Vidaković said. There currently export to more than 50 countries around the world, from Europe and Asia to North and South America, South Africa and Australia.
“We are constantly looking for new employees, both in production and development. It is difficult to find high-quality employees, and that is a problem which we share with other employers”, she added. “It is still early to talk about numbers for this year. We have a lot of projects that are yet to be realized. However, we are confident that we will achieve growth compared to the previous year”, Vidaković concluded.