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Thrace Group: How it became a European market leader on face masks

With its new investment and addition of the new high protection mask "FFP2 Thrace Series 902 Advanced", the group ranks among the leading producers in Europe.

Thrace group is ranking among a handful of leading high protection mask producers in Europe with a new investment, while in 2020 its figures soared, thanks to the differentiation of its product mix amidst the special conditions created by the pandemic.

In Greece’s conditions of deindustrialization and tourism monoculture, Thrace group has emerged as a major force in the global industry with production units in Greece, Scotland, Ireland, Bulgaria, Romania and the USA, while it has a sales network in 80 countries, in Europe, Asia and America. Based in Thrace, it draws 83 percent of its revenues from abroad, although half of its total production takes place in Greece, while it employs 2,000 employees, half of whom are in our country.

With its new investment and addition of the new high protection mask "FFP2 Thrace Series 902 Advanced", the group ranks among the leading producers in Europe.

It is worth noting that for surgical masks alone, Europe imported 20 billion euros worth of products from China in 2020, compared to just 1 billion in 2019. This alone shows the enormous needs of the region on a product which has topped global demand in the last 14 months.

Investment in Xanthi initially ensure a production of over 1.5 million FFP2 masks per month. The group already produces 50 million Type IIR surgical masks per month at its plants in Greece, Scotland and Ireland. At the same time, having more than 20 years of experience in the production of technical fabrics for medical use, it is the only company that has a fully vertical production.

Protective masks

The new investment of Plastics Thrace in Xanthi ensures in a first phase a production of over 1.5 million FFP2 masks per month. The group already produces 50 million Type IIR surgical masks a month at its plants in Greece, Scotland and Ireland. At the same time, having more than 20 years of experience in the production of technical fabrics for medical use, it is the only company that has a fully vertical production. 

As sources tell BusinesDaily.gr, investment for the new FFP2 masks was not large, only individual adjustments were made to the technical characteristics, while it combined with the investment that was completed in October 2020.

This was the investment of 3 million euros for the installation of production lines of surgical masks Type I, Type II and Type IIR, at the group's facilities in Xanthi in Greece, in Forfar in Scotland and in Clara in Ireland, achieving full verticalization in the production of surgical masks. Also in 2020, an extraordinary investment of 5.1 million was made for the installation of mechanical equipment for the production of "Meltblown" material, which is also used for the production of all types of masks, from surgical masks to FFP2 and FFP3 type masks.

Record earnings

The diversification of its product mix led to a surge in size during the fiscal year 2020, which was the historically best year for the group. Although there was a decrease in tourism-related products, this was offset by an increase in demand for food packaging products due to the outbreak of the pandemic, as well as an increase in personal hygiene products (masks).

At the same time, the company took advantage of cost reductions in raw materials in the best possible way and the increase in demand in both packaging and technical fabrics brought a multiplier effect. The synthetic fabrics sector was also the one that had the largest improvement in the individual gross profit (+83.9 percent).

Profits after taxes and minority interests (from continuing operations) amounted to 40.66 million euros compared to 7.213 million euros in 2019 (463.7 percent increase). The corresponding profits from the total activities of the group amounted to 37.347 million euros, from 3.716 million euros, recording an increase of 905 percent! Sales amounted to 339.7 million euros from 298.3 million euros in 2019, while cash and cash equivalents amounted to 40.8 million euros.

The first quarter of 2021 according to group sources is a continuation of the previous year, both in terms of product mix and profitability levels. Of course, the emergence of shortages of basic raw materials from the beginning of the year until today, has created pressure on world markets and a rapid rise in the price of all basic raw materials. Despite the fluctuations in the prices of raw materials, the evolution of the economic figures of the first quarter remains satisfactory, both in terms of sales and profitability.

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