By net sales in 2012 JSC UPB is:
• the 2nd largest construction company;
• the 7th largest company in Kurzeme region;
• the 22nd largest company submitting consolidated financial statements.
Among leaders of TOP 500, JSC UPB is the 75th that being an increase by 17 positions compared to the previous year.
“TOP 500 of the largest companies in Latvia” is a publication prepared by newspaper Dienas Bizness together with IT company Lursoft IT. TOP 500 lists performance results of the largest companies in Latvia by net sales for the previous year, as well as reveals assessment by sectors and regions. TOP 500 provides overview of economic situation development and expert assessment of economic forecasts for the next year.
TOP 500 asked Chairman of the Board of JSC UPB Uldis Pīlēns to give an expert view on economic situation in Latvia.
TOP 500: What makes the company you are leading successful?
U. Pīlēns: It is a result of long-term planning. Our block of design, service, mounting every year shows an increasing trend that lays the basis for JSC UPB development and provides opportunity to invest and expand the network of plants. For example, this year we commenced the first operational phase of our new automotive plant, consequently a portfolio of new and interesting orders is developing that allows adding new countries to our export geography. We have added Switzerland to our network. Moreover, we have not forgotten the local market – we have commenced development of new quarry in Latvia necessary to MB Betons Group. We are expanding engineering capacities and increasing staff qualification – previously JSC UPB had only engineers working in construction sphere, now, however, we also have electro-technical and automotive engineers, together they are implementing the idea of industrial group. According to belief – the one who sows, also reaps. This is the period when we can cautiously plan a stable increase in net sales and, I would like to hope, also profit. We are planning to end 2013 with an increase at least of 15% in net sales.
TOP 500: What are the forecasts regarding operations of your company and the sector in general in 2013 / 2014?
U. Pīlēns: Significant market stabilization in construction sector is not expected. There are two reasons for this. One is the end of the European Union planning period and uncertainty related to the beginning of the next one that causes certain nervousness in procurements of internal market. It is visible that sector wants to secure itself with orders for the next two years for relatively low fees. The second reason is Parliament elections next year that may cause changes in politics. Consequently, it will also impact the process of setting economic priorities and tactical changes in solving matters initiated previously.
TOP 500: What changes do you anticipate?
U. Pīlēns: Previously the spread of investments was proportional over the territory of Latvia, the next government, regardless of its political direction, shall have to consider “impulse centres”, in many cities, however, majority of infrastructure matters have already been solved. Can infrastructure matters significantly expand within the same current level of economic capacity? I do not think so, except for those issues that just have to be solved, for example, roads. I do not consider the internal construction market too stable, therefore we will be here, however, our focus will be put on export. Year 2016 seems more promising. Until then sector companies will be in need of a higher liquidity and ability to survive during the less favourable years – 2014 – 2015.
TOP 500: What is JSC UPB export strategy?
U. Pīlēns: Our strategy is to diversify regional risks applying specifics of projects. Previously we adjusted to demand – shopping centres, industrial buildings, offices, apartments, now, however, we are trying to focus on technologically more complex objects to cover a broader scope of potential orders employing production and engineering capabilities. It includes reacting to fluctuations in conditions in the markets we are already working and emphasize our presence on the highest technological level.