Elan: the Company that Said No to a Champion Peter Prevc
Last year, the Elan Company, which had previously refused from the sponsorship offered by Peter Prevc and other domestic jumpers, demonstrated 71 million euros of revenues and 3.8 million euros of profit.
History of the Elan Company
The Company was founded in 1949.
After Slovenia had become independent, a Croatian bank “Privredna Banka Zagreb” bought the Company.
In 2000, the Slovenian Export Corporation «Slovenska izvozna družba» further purchased it.
In 2008, following the results of nearly two decades of unsatisfactory work, the government invested 12 million euros in the Company. Later on, the European Commission concluded in respect of this sum that it had been an illegal state aid. Since the return of these funds would have caused the collapse of the Company, the Commission authorized the payment delay until privatization of the Company.
There were several attempts to sell the Company, until last year in July, the Bank of America Merrill Lynch (capital share — 4.9%) and the Russian Wiltan Enterprises Fund (capital share — 95.1%) finally bought the Company.
The Elan Company recovered state aid in September 2015.
In 2014, the Elan Group generated by 4% more revenues than in the previous year. Thus, after several years of restructuring and adapting to the new conditions, having overcome the financial crisis, the Company managed to break the trend of declining revenues. In 2014, for the first time since 2009, the Company produced 1 million euros of net profit and reduced its debt in relation to cash flow.
Elan is not just skiing
Companies of the Elan Group: three companies in Slovenia and distribution companies from four other countries produce the following products:
- skis and snowboards,
- equipment for sports facilities,
- security systems, grandstands,
- components for wind power plants.
The data for the year 2015 has not yet been published, but last year the Elan Group demonstrated more than 71 million euros of revenues. Its profit reached 3.8 million euros, as has been recently stated in STA (the Slovene Telegraph Agency — translator’s note).
Business activities of the Elan Group in winter are associated with the manufacture of skis and snowboards. In 2014, they produced 365,000 pairs of skis, the majority of which was released under personal brand. The Elan Skis have an 8-percent share in the global market, they are known for the carving type of skis, which were developed in 1988. The Elan Inventa produces equipment for sports facilities, security systems and grandstands. Since 2009, it has been also engaged in producing components for wind power plants, wherein having the Siemens Corporation as its partner.
Once it was a giant, and today…
The Elan made a significant contribution in sports — especially in ski jumping and downhill skiing. However, the number of athletes on “elankahs” (the Elan Skis) has decreased significantly in recent years. It is true that in the recently concluded season, the jumpers Peter Prevc and Sara Takanashi won the world championship with Elan. Besides them, such sportsmen as Domen and Cene Prevc, Nejc Dezhman, Jaka Khvala, Katja Pozhun, Emma Klinec, etc. also cast in lot with Elan. However, these achievements are of course less significant if compared to the golden years, when Elan was a priori the only choice for various camps of jumpers.
Nevertheless, Elan has experienced a still deeper crisis in downhill skiing. This fact becomes even more striking if to take into account that Elan has been quite recently an outfitter for Bojan Krizhaj, Mateja Svet, and Ingemarje Stenmark. All the best Slovenian skiers stand on the skis of the foreign equipment suppliers. While last winter, Tina Robnik was the only woman who presented the Elan products.
Among the foreign athletes who use the Elan products, there is really a small number of recognized names. In the last season, an Italian Massimiliano Blardone was the only World Cup’s participant who used the skis manufactured in Begunje. In addition to domestic ski jumpers led by Peter Prevc, the largest user of the Elan products was a freestyler Philip Flisar.