A buoyant construction market in Central and Eastern Europe and rising demand for building materials have prompted leading polystyrene foam insulation producer Austrotherm to expand in Hungary.
With three production units in the country, the Waldegg, Austria-based group recently inaugurated a new 2,000m2 warehouse at its industrial site in the central southern Hungarian city of Szekszárd.
Austrotherm, which also runs plants north of Budapest at Győr and Gyöngyös, invested almost €1m to expand storage space to help meet rising demand in particular for expanded polystyrene foam (RPS) panels for building roofs, flooring and facade insulation.
This expansion is expected to be part of a continuing programme of further development at the southern facility.
The group manufactures both EPS and extruded polystyrene (XPS) insulation materials at 22 sites mainly across Europe. Apart from Austria, Austrotherm foreign plants include operations in Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Turkey.
In 2017, Austrotherm achieved record annual sales of €351m, up by 15.5% over the previous year results. The group workforce exceeded 1,000 during last year and it now employs around 1,030 across its operations.
Tighter environmental standards and rising energy prices have added to the increasing demand for high quality thermal insulation materials.
“The good state of the construction industry in Central and Eastern, as well as the continuing implementation of the (EU) Energy Efficiency Directive, generally favoured sales of insulating materials last year,” commented Austrotherm managing director Gerald Prinzhorn earlier.
His group took advantage of the improved conditions to expand its production in Europe. In 2017, Austrotherm boosted production capacity at its German XPS facility in the town of Wittenberge, north of Berlin while it launched a third EPS material plant in Romania.
That unit, aimed at serving Transylvania and other western regions of the country, was opened at the Arad, Romania site in November 2017. The firm first set up in Romania in 1999 when it established its first EPS plant in Bucharest and followed up with a second EPS unit at Horia in 2006. A new XPS facility was added on that site two years later.