Alpla Group’s international growth trajectory

Packaging company with a record turnover of 4 billion euros

Since January 2021, Alpla chief executive officer Philipp Lehner has been the third generation to lead the internationally active family business. Photo Alpla

The Alpla Group, the global packaging solutions and recycling specialist, increased its turnover in the 2021 financial year by 8.4% to 4 billion euros (approximately Rs 34,324 crore). The number of employees worldwide increased to 22,100. In addition to investments in recycling and the development of bio-based and biodegradable plastics, the company expanded through acquisitions and participation.

‘We have put ourselves in a strong position internationally in recent years, invested in the recyclability of plastics and new technologies and materials, and achieved a new sales record in 2021. We want to secure this positive development sustainably and in the long term,’ emphasises Alpla’s chief executive officer Philipp Lehner. With an increase in turnover of 8.4% to four billion euros, the previous year was significantly exceeded.

Expansion and globalisation of recycling

Since 2021, the Alpla Group has invested an average of 50 million euros (approximately Rs 428 crore) annually to expand recycling activities. By 2025, the recycling loops will be closed in as many regions as possible. ‘Our customers’ demand for high-quality recycled materials is also growing outside Europe. In the long term, we want to cover between 70 and 80 per cent of demand with our production,’ says Philipp Lehner.

Outlook 2022

Growth of three to five per cent is the target for the 2022 financial year. ‘Numerous projects and acquisitions in the USA, Mexico, Asia-Pacific region and Western Europe enable us to strengthen existing and enter new product and market segments,’ Lehner emphasizes. With the new Asia-Pacific (APAC) region coming on stream in early 2022, Alpla is also expanding the reach of its industry-leading mould technology in the growing Asian market and driving the expansion of the circular economy in the region.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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