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The Group specialising in ceramic machinery (forecast 2010 turnover in excess of 43 million euro) is one of the Italian companies commissioned by the giant Sogutsen Seramik to build the production facilities at Cankiri. For Ancora this represents a 12 million euro order. 50% turnover growth reported in first half of 2010
Perhaps not everyone is aware of this, but Turkey is one of the world’s biggest producers of ceramic tiles. In particular, the country is home to Sogutsen Seramik, a giant tile manufacturer with 1,100 employees and an annual output of 44 million square metres which is preparing to become one of the world’s largest producers in terms of volumes with a major investment in Italian technology. The main supplier companies involved in the order are the Imola-based SACMI Group, world leader in complete engineering for tile production, and the Sassuolo-based Ancora Group, one of the foremost players in the ceramic finishing machinery sector with a 2009 turnover of 36 million euro and EBITDA of 2.6 million euro.

The group of supplier companies – which also includes System Ceramics, leader in decoration and automation for the sector, and LB Officine Meccaniche, leader in the field of technologies for porcelain tile, both based in Fiorano Modenese – will receive 130 million euro to construct 15 production lines in the Sogutsen Seramik facility at Cankiri, near Ankara. The factory, a building one kilometre in length and 400 metres in width, will reach an output of more than 54 million square metres of tiles per year by the end of 2012, a record for a single production unit.

The Ancora Group has been commissioned to supply 24 machines – 6 squaring machines, 11 polishing machines, 4 lapping machines and 3 waterjet cutting machines – worth a total of 12 million euro. Six of the 11 polishing machines will be equipped with the innovative and exclusive Hi-coat technology for surface cleaning and protection of porcelain tile, terracotta and natural stone (but also designed for shower enclosures, sanitaryware and ceramic wall tiles).

As chairman Mario Corradini explains, “Hi-coat is the result of a more than 2 million euro investment and five years of research and applications in the field of nanotechnologies. Our research and development centre, organised as a joint venture with a German company, has created not just the most advanced machines for cleaning and protection of ceramic surfaces but also the best chemical products. For our client this represented a major competitive advantage that a large and expansion-oriented company like Sogutsen Seramik could not resist.” Forecasts suggest that Hi-coat will generate a turnover of more than 10 million euro within the next three years.

“Market competition is now very fierce and companies wishing to stay in business and expand at a world level cannot avoid investing in innovation. As a leader in the production of finishing machinery for the ceramic sector, we have made continuous investments. Suffice it to think that in 2010 we invested 1.5 million euro (and achieved a very satisfactory 50% growth in the first half of the year) and in 2009 (the worst year for the ceramic machinery sector) we invested 2.5 million euro, almost four times our average annual investment.”

Ancora Group has been operating since 1969 in the heart of the world ceramic industry and exports 80% of its products worldwide. Following the order from Turkey, where Ancora holds more than 70% of the local market, the company’s management is expecting to report a 2010 turnover in excess of 43 million euro (+19%). The entire current workforce has been kept on, consisting of 265 employees, including 8 foreign staff working at the group’s Spanish and Brazilian branches.

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