Saturday, May 28

Levantina raises its losses to 36 million and has six years in the red

The headquarters of the Levantina marble factory in Novelda.  |  ÁXEL ÁLVAREZ

The headquarters of the Levantina marble factory in Novelda. | ÁXEL ÁLVAREZ

Another negative year for Levantina, the largest company in the natural stone sector in the province. The noveldense company once again accused in its accounts the fall in demand that affects the entire Alicante marble business and closed 2019 with a new decrease in turnover of 13%, which led to an increase in the red numbers that has dragged on since 2014, despite the attempts of its managers to reverse the situation.

According to the consolidated balance sheets that the group owned by Bybroo backgroundk has deposited in the Mercantile Registry, the firm achieved that year a turnover of 135 million euros, 20 million less than the previous year and practically half the figures it signed in 2013, when its income amounted to 249, 5 million. Further still are the 360 ​​million that came to enter annually before the bursting of the real estate bubble.

The decline in the last year was due both to the fall in the national market, where the company’s stone sales went from 53.3 to 47.7 million in turnover, and to the decline in exports, which fell from 99.3 to 84.9 million. A bad exercise that, likewise, was noticed in the provision of services, which also billed less.

Predictably, this decline in turnover turned into a increased losses, since expenses did not decrease in the same proportion and, specifically, personnel expenses even increased due to the ERE compensation that it applied to reduce its workforce. In this way, the red numbers went from 24.8 million in 2018 to 36.2 million in 2019, 45% more.

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A rebound that, yes, is also far from the records that reached the negative results of 2016 and 2017, when the company from Novelda lost, respectively, 77 and 117 million euros, due to the cleaning of its balance sheets before its transfer to its current owners.

In any case, the firm has already tried to straighten these results with new measures throughout 2020. Thus, in February it agreed to a new ERE of 45 workers with the workforce, and last December it communicated to the Mercantile Registry its decision to divide the business into three different companies, which will keep separate accounts, according to sources from the firm’s works council. In this way, it is intended that the bad moment that the marble seems to pass through does not affect the rest of the divisions, which present better perspectives.

Thus, it has been created Levantina Marble for this material; LevGranite, to channel the transformation and sale of granite, which has a greater output at the moment; Y Levantina Techlam to concentrate in this firm the group’s commitment to compete in the porcelain tile sector. A bet that seems to be paying off, since in 2019 it already represented 24% of production, according to the Non-Financial Information Statement that accompanies the balance sheets.

In any case, in addition to its own problems, the company has had to face the consequences of the covid throughout 2020, which have affected its activity. Thus, the marble factory has had its workforce at ERTE since April on rotating shifts of approximately half of the workers. An ERTE that the firm has just extended until July, according to the works council.

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