Marmoran CEO bullish about year ahead

Posted On Thursday, 06 May 2004 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Positive outlook

Construction IndustryTalking recently to over 100 delegates from 29 countries at the Fifth Marmoran International Conference, held this year in Caledon, Gavin Commins, the Chief Executive of Marmoran (which makes specialist coatings for the construction industry), said that turnover in the last financial year had increased by 18%, i.e. by 10% above the inflation rate, and that the year past had been marked by a re-emphasis of the importance of the South African market which had fuelled all the group’s initial growth.

"We have," said Commins, "been through a period in which the rand strengthened by almost 70% in two years. This, in turn, has meant that, although the volume of our exports to overseas clients last year rose by 15%, the profit on sales was significantly diminished. However, the growth in the South African market has compensated exceptionally well for this: we are now looking at a situation where South African sales grew by 35%, with the Western Cape being the star performer with a 50% increase. The last six months have been particularly impressive throughout South Africa."

It was in the Western Cape, said Commins, that Marmoran long life coatings had first been marketed when the company was founded 35 years ago. As a result there are now a large number of buildings which have outlasted their 10 or 15 year guarantee periods and can serve as proof that Marmoran's claims about the long life properties of its products are wholly valid.

One of the best examples of this, said Commins, has been the huge Cape Town Civic Centre, now about to be recoated for the third time with a Marmoran Rolon coating. All the Civic Centre coatings, he said, had performed exceptionally well, with the result that it had been possible to apply every new coating on top of the previous coating.

In the South African market - and indeed to a lesser degree elsewhere -, said Commins, the big change had been the swing towards using Marmoran coatings for residential purposes.

"With 65% of all building work in South Africa being for residential use," said Commins, "it was obviously time that we got into this market. This we have done over the last three years with great success through the appointment of 14 specialist residential applicators working in all the major provinces - Gauteng, Northern Province, KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape, Southern Cape and Eastern Province, while in certain other areas our main applicators have also begun to take on major residential contracts as well."

The thrust into the South African market will be boosted this year by the establishment of avante garde architect-designed Décor Centres in existing paint centres. The Western Cape, KZN and Gauteng with be the first to have these.

"They," said Commins, "will be truly professional centres in which friendly, well informed consultants will be on hand to advise clients on the use of Marmoran products," said Commins.

On the international front, said Commins, the major change had been the swing towards the appointment of Marmoran blending agents who operate under licence. They are supplied by Marmoran with the equipment to manufacture Marmoran products for themselves, the raw materials being imported from Marmoran in Cape Town.

"These arrangements," said Commins, "cut out the sometimes lengthy delivery periods from Cape Town and enable the licensed blender to give his own quick sample service and to deliver speedily. They also usually result in a cut down on import duties because raw materials can be imported at a lower tax rate than manufactured goods."

In Egypt, said Commins, a newly appointed blender working in collaboration with Marmoran will be coating the largest single contract ever handled by the company, the San Stefano holiday resort at Alexandria, where 145,000 m2 of coatings will be applied mainly to the exterior of the buildings. Most of the facilities and the central hotel here, said Commins, will be five star plus standard and the four coat system approved by the Canadian and USA consultants will be one of the most sophisticated ever developed by Marmoran. This is necessary because it has to be able to withstand intense heat, high humidity and an exceptionally high salt content in the coastal air.

Commins said that Marmoran is now quite possibly the leading specialist coating manufacturer in the world.

"No other specialist coating manufacturer has over 60 different products - as we do - and very few are able to offer 10 or 15 year guarantees backed by a London insurance company that Marmoran will give on any application applied by one of its licensed applicators. These features put us in a class all our own."

Commins said that Marmoran's front running position had been achieved partly through investing heavily in research and development which currently absorbs about 4% of its turnover. As a result, his company has several products that he regards as the best available in the world and on average develops two to three new lines each year.

Commins said that he is now budgeting for a further 25% increase in sales in 2004 and by 2006 he predicts that Marmoran will be supplying 60 countries By that stage, he said, exports could well comprise 65% of the total Marmoran turnover.


Last modified on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 16:14

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