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© evertiq Electronics Production | February 04, 2014

Kitron expanding amidst challenging market conditions

In October Kitron announced further investments in its Lithuanian venture; NOK 37 million – roughly EUR 4,4 million – will be spent on expanding the company's operations in the country.
Norwegian EMS-manufacturer Kitron is investing in the Lithuanian venture. Nils-Gunnar Fransson, Sales and Marketing Manager Kitron, tells Evertiq that customers in many of Kitron's key markets - including Norway, Sweden and Germany - see Lithuania as an increasingly interesting location for manufacturing.

The investment involves an expansion of 5'000 sq.m of premises and a fourth SMT line. At the moment, the company has 5'000 sq.m of production space in Kaunas and another 3'000 sq.m. large factory in Uzliedziai, Kaunas district.

As the industry in general is seeing somewhat of a shift in production – orders being transferred – from China to Eastern Europe, the company has to react to these trends and expand capabilities, local media also reports.

Challenging market prevailed 2013

For Kitron, along with many others in the industry, most of 2013 was challenging.

"For the first three quarters we are looking at a drop in both turnover and EBIT. This is in line with the expectations of the industry as a whole. It is important for us to align the business accordingly and make sure we are still making money. We are living in an industry where investments are crucial; so making money is always important. With that said, we can see that different segments vary over time. This is stable core of Kitron – we have a very varied portfolio of customers", says Nils-Gunnar Fransson.

As always, trends are hard to spot. However, some things can be said. As it is the case for many European manufacturers, the Defense sector is a decline. For Kitron, this is offset by an increase in two other segments: Industrial and Medical Electronics.

"We are also proud to offer NPI-solutions (new product introduction) in all of our factories, a key element in meeting today's time-to-market requirements."
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