Iceland review - 2002, Blaðsíða 71

Iceland review - 2002, Blaðsíða 71
Visit for further information ICELAND REVIEW 69 SÆPLAST The past five years have brought tremendous development for Icelandic plastics company Sæplast Limited. The Dalvík-head- quartered company, which started serving the fishing industry in 1984, has grown into a network of international plants producing a variety of products for several sea-related industries. “We have been changing very much,” reflects Sæplast President and CEO, Steinthór Ólafsson. Though the company started out manufacturing plastic tubs, Ólafsson says that “today, that’s only about half of our business. We have become involved in a lot of different areas and different products for similar industries.” Sæplast’s current range of products includes plastic tubs, pal- lets, floats, buoys, fenders and pontoons, sold and distributed in the aquaculture, meat, poultry, agriculture, buoyancy fendering, recreational boating, and pet food industries. A truly internation- al presence, Sæplast operates plants and sales offices in Holland, Hong Kong, Canada, Mexico, Norway, India, and Iceland. In fact, 90% of Sæplast’s turnover originates outside of Iceland. Sæplast’s Ólafsson plant in Norway has been among their quickest to develop. There, Polyform™ and Scanmarine™ buoys and floats are manufactured and marketed in the recreational boating, commercial fishing, aquaculture, workboat, and off- shore processing industries. “We have seen a lot of synergy between the two groups of products that we have – the food industry, which is tubs and con- tainers, and the floating industry,” Ólafsson explains. The natural relationship between the two has allowed Sæplast to transition effectively into its new markets. In 1990, the six-year-old company made its first domestic acquisition in Akureyri. By 1998, Sæplast India was up and run- ning, and plants in Canada and Norway were close to follow. This international expansion was aided by their team’s previous expertise in exporting products as a domestic company. To say things are going well for Sæplast is an understatement. From 1998 to 2001, Sæplast’s annual turnover increased from 500 million IKR to 2,500 million – a 400% gain. Ólafsson recol- lects that “We were very focused, we knew what we wanted, we put a lot of effort into it, and we had a good plant in Dalvík to build on. We had the knowledge about the plastic production, and we had very dedicated people in the plants. That is what counts.” Strong international partnerships have been central to Sæplast’s successful growth. Ólafsson considers Sæplast India a case-in-point. “We have learned a lot from our relationship with India,” he reflects. “Everything is very different there, but never- theless we have succeeded with it. Everything has been smooth.” Seeing eye-to-eye with his partners is important to Ólafsson. Why is the plant in India a success? His partner there is “a Sæplast man”. As Sæplast evolves, their strong identity, knowledge and expertise keep them a leader in the fishing industry. In addition to supplying their customers with state-of-the-art products, Sæplast’s customers regularly seek their advice in running their businesses. “We know this process very well,” says Ólafsson. “That’s why we are ahead of our competitors. We know the fish- ing business inside and out.” INSIDE AND OUT: Sæplast Limited Remains International Leader in Marine Plastics Sæplast’s current range of products includes plastic tubs, pallets, floats, buoys, fenders and pontoons, sold and distributed in the aquaculture, meat, poultry, agriculture, buoyancy fender- ing, recreational boating, and pet food industries. 61 IR302 - Iceland Businesbs-rm 2.9.2002 13:41 Page 69
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