Issue 133 October 2016
The perfect cast
Pekabex is a leading manufacturer of precast concrete structures in Poland. It produces traditional reinforced elements, as well as modern prestressed elements used in enclosed structures, engineering objects, and atypical designs
There is a history that stretches back over 40 years at Pekabex, however it is the past decade that has been a deciding factor in the future of the company, and president of the board Przemysław Borek provided an overview of this: “The company almost closed in 2007 due to poor management and bankruptcy, but then investors appeared and covered all the debts, and the recovery process began. I entered the company in 2008, and I have been the president of the board since then, and we have managed to heal the business. At that moment in 2007 the total turnover for the company was approximately 15 million euros and this year we are going to reach approximately 120 million euros. This happened through the determined work I did with a group of colleagues where we focused on improving the situation year-by-year. The result of this was that we reached better and better sales turnover, 20 per cent to 30 per cent, and this was due to major changes we had made in the organisation, and the investments made into the company. First of all we started installation of the precast technology within the business, we also created a professional sales team, and created an expert project management team. One of the areas we have really improved and has become our strongest department – is the design team – they go into greater depths about the design of our products and how it will be executed. The changes in the company and the new technology investments gave a boost to the business, and helped to alter the trajectory of Pekabex so that it could be where it is now.”
Pekabex production plants manufacture a total scope of the structural prestressed and reinforced concrete elements – including columns, beams, floor beams, girders, solid and sandwich walls solid slabs, TT slabs etc. Moreover the plants in Poznań and Mszczonów produce the prestressed hollow core slabs. A plant in Poznań is equipped with automated – computer-controlled – production lines for the structural prestressed elements up to a length of 120 metres, and technical facilities that support the manufacture of elements that weight up to 70 tons. The company is clearly performing well, and has come on leaps and bounds from its state in 2007, as Przemysław stated: “We are beating the production records in each of our plants from August/September and September/October, and we are reaching the production records from the moment we started to compare it.”
The company has also continuously increased its facilities – it currently has four production plants located in Poznań, Mszczonów (near Warsaw) and Bielsko-Biała, and the manufacture capacities of the plants amount to over 100,000 m3 per year. The company is planning further investments, including expansion and modernisation of plants, while also looking at market consolidation. Pekabex has added more factories and companies to its portfolio in recent years, and one of those was Mszczonów (Ergon- CRH Member), which was finalised in January 2016, and this has helped strengthen the company’s position in the precast market, and enables Pekabex to work on the biggest projects in Poland.
Continuing on from this Przemysław discussed some of the key consumers Pekabex has: “The majority of our clients are locally in Poland, and this includes many medium customers we have as well. All of these are a large part of whom we supply, but there is also a large amount that belong to bigger international groups like Boodermex Budimex that is our biggest client. Another major one is Skanska, and we work with them in Poland, but also we execute projects for Skanska on big projects in Sweden. We have also been involved in big projects in Poland with the work we do with Estaudi Astaldi, which is an Italian company, and this was to build their new railway station, in addition to this we are also working with them on another project that is yet to be finalised.” Pekabex has a number more clients, however the insight into these few demonstrates how varied the company is, and that it can provide its services for a variety of projects within Poland and further afield.
In addition to its clients, it is also working on a number of exciting projects, which Przemysław highlighted: “We are constructing one of the biggest office buildings in Poland. It is situated in Gdansk and using the precast technology as a frame and solution, this is a design and build project. It is for the full structure, so we started with the foundations and are now reaching the top. The total height of the building is 180 metres including towers and the totally height of the building without towers is 158 metres and its fully designed by us. It looks likely that we are going to complete it in an extremely short period and we are reaching one floor every week, and altogether it amounts to more than 40,000 square metres for the project. This is without doubt the biggest precast building in Poland and will be within the ten highest buildings in Poland.”
Pekabex has come a long way in under a decade – this has been due to important investments and improved management – taking it from a precarious position in 2007 to become a leading figure in the precast industry in under ten years. Resulting in a significant increase in turnover, which began at around 15 million euros a year to then become ten times that figure expected in 2016, there seems to be little limit to what Pekabex can achieve.
Services: Manufacturer of precast concrete structures