Packaging Europe

Dünya Executive - - COVER PAGE - IBRAHIM EKINCI

Sarten looks to dominate the global packaging industry with three new factories abroad

After nearly a half-century of operations, Sarten Ambalaj is today the largest metal packaging producer in Turkey and the Middle East, and plans to continue growing. According the CEO Zeki Saribekir, the company will build three new production facilities abroad on the heels of its 18th factory in the Netherland­s, which expanded its overseas operations to 3 factories and 5 subsidiari­es in Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, Serbia and Thessaloni­ki. Plans are in place to grow its investment­s in Russia, the U.S. and Morocco. “The target is leadership in Russia, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe,” Sarıbekir said, adding that the company expects to increase revenues to $1 billion from TRY 1.2 billion. Sarten currently represents 82 percent of metal packaging and 18 percent of plastic packaging in Turkey.

The factory in the Netherland­s, operating under Sarten Packaging Netherland­s B.V., was completed with a five million euro investment and will be expanded over the next two to three years, reaching 30 million euro in turnover. “The raw material comes from Turkey, the installati­on is done in the Netherland­s facility,” Saribekir said. “It was built for the needs of one of our big clients. We used to send boxes in 800 semi-trailer trucks. After establishi­ng this factory, we now only send material in 80 semi-trailer trucks. Thus we offer a fast solution for our European clients. We have started to produce in one line for 80 million boxes. In September, a second line will be adopted and there will be two shifts. We aim to sell 50 million boxes this year in the Netherland­s and 100 million boxes next year.”

Among top three n Europe

Sarten, which had a turnover of $320 million in 2017, has set its target at $400 million for 2018. 27 percent of its production ($80 million) is exported to more than 80 countries. The 2018 target for export revenues is $100 million. 82 percent of the product range is metal. 55 percent of the production is for food, 24 percent for cosmetics, and 21 percent for industrial packaging. Five of their 15 factories in Turkey are in Manisa and the total number of employees, both inside and outside Turkey, is 3,300.

“We are among the top three in Europe and the top ten in the world,” Saribekir said. “In 2015 we signed a 15 percent partnershi­p with Mitsui, assisted by our entry into the Moroccan market under the Turquality category in 2014.”

Sarten began producing plastic packaging in 1992 but has stayed out of paper and glass, though it does produce lids for glass jars. According to Saribekir, the company is considerin­g expanding to the glass packaging business and is evaluating some proposals in this regard. After establishi­ng its first R&D center in packaging, Sarten also works on new packaging trends and materials in the sector at the Sarten Academy, where university graduates are accepted for a manager program for 1 month. 140 people have been trained in the academy so far.

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