Turnover growth of 31% was ensured by stable growth in export markets, the implementation of technically more complex projects, the development of new products, as well as achieving synergies between the various business groups of the holding.
Dainis Bērziņš, Chairman of the UPB Management Board, stated whilst assessing last year’s success: “By working together, the UPB team has managed to reach a new level of development in terms of technical possibilities, as well as capacity. This allows us to have a stable outlook into the future.”
Last year, significant growth in turnover was recorded in export markets, especially in Scandinavia, where the demand for UPB’s combined frame and facade solutions is continuing to grow – several projects of this kind were realised over the past year, the largest of which were Sorkedalsveien – an office and apartment building complex in Oslo, Norway, and Blenda – an office building in Gothenburg, Sweden. Praise has also been given to UPB’s competence in the implementation of green and sustainable projects, including in the BREEAM and LEED certification systems – almost half of the projects constructed in 2016 comply with one of the environmentally friendly or sustainable systems.
Over the previous year, work was carried out on the strategic exploration of new export markets for risk diversification purposes. Work has started on the first glass facade projects in Ireland, whereas products developed by the mechanical engineering plant have been exported to such countries as USA, Italy, Egypt, China, Peru, Chile, Serbia, Vietnam and Bulgaria. Over the past year, UPB GmbH (Germany) recorded stable sales and service results for cogeneration stations manufactured in Latvia.
In October of last year, UPB registered a branch office in Azerbaijan and started designing an aircraft hangar for Baku airport. The demanding requirements regarding seismic and wind load, as well as fire security, of the 8 046 sq. m hangar make this building one of the most complex metal constructions to date. UPB will also oversee the construction of the aircraft hangar.
In 2016, several large industrial projects were realised in the Latvian market. The largest biomass cogeneration station in Kurzeme, with electrical power of 3.98 MW and heat output of 16.6 MW, was constructed in the Brocēni Municipality. This project was delivered according to the turnkey project principle – UPB ensured the full project cycle, including the designing and installation of engineering networks, structures and energy technologies. Turnkey projects provide advantages for reducing construction time and costs, as well as allowing focus of responsibility on a single actor. UPB will also carry out complete technical servicing of the cogeneration station, thus extending the range of services provided by UPB alongside the cogeneration module service.
The previous year was also successful for UPB’s metalworking and mechanical engineering cluster, which currently makes up a significant part of UPB’s total turnover. One of the most notable local projects included the designing, manufacturing and installation of the freight elevator at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet. The elevator has a lifting capacity of 30 tonnes.
Last year, investment projects in innovative technological solutions continued. By using an application programming interface (an Open API), the engineering team of UPB developed plug-ins for the most advanced design tool TEKLA. These solutions make it possible to combine metal, concrete and glass construction designs according to building information modelling (BIM) principles in one place, which was not yet offered in the world. Such optimisation of design processes and the integration thereof with UPB’s business process support information system, as well as regular modernisation of the manufacturing infrastructure, are convincingly guiding UPB Holding towards the Industry 4.0 concept.
UPB Holding is continuing to support educational, sports and cultural programmes. Within the framework of UPB’s educational programme, 140 students and pupils have already been supported with scholarships and tuition fee payments. Last year, close cooperation continued with the Engineering High School of RTU.
UPB Holding is one of the leading industrial concerns in Latvia, operating successfully in Latvian and foreign markets for more than 25 years. The main lines of activity of UPB include design, manufacturing, contracting, assembly, trade and servicing. The production unit network of the holding covers the entire territory of Latvia with a total production area of 60 000 square meters. UPB currently employs more than 1500 people. The group includes companies and representative offices in Latvia, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, Belarus and Azerbaijan. Synergies between the holding’s companies, an innovative approach and quality form the basis of the holding’s stable annual growth.