A new chapter in the story of lighting company SGM has begun, with the announcement that the company is to move its production to Denmark and the appointment of a new chairman.
Previous owner RCF Group brought entrepreneur Peter Johansen (pictured) on board to run product development in November 2010. The Martin Professional founder re-hired a number of his former colleagues and set up an R&D centre in Aarhus in his native Denmark.
In February 2012, RCF sold SGM to a consortium headed by Johansen, who became CEO and set up facilities in Aabyhoj, Denmark. Now the entire production, warehouse and administration are combining in a new 6,500sqm facility in Aarhus.
In the past 18 months, a complete new LED product range has been launched, a global distributor network established, top international touring references have appeared across the world’s media – and now the entrepreneur aims to establish a dedicated Danish base. What this will mean is Danish manufacturing, Danish employment and – to a great extent – Danish and European sub-suppliers.
“We anticipate that this move will create up to 400 new jobs over the next two years,” stated Johansen, announcing the decision.
Having headquarters and manufacturing in Denmark had always been part of the plan, so once the administrative organisation had become firmly established, work was put in place to accomplish the mission. SGM Manufacturing has now been founded as an independent company and a subsidiary to SGM Holding.
A new facility has been located in Aarhus and renovation initiated to create a state of the art production environment. Meanwhile, the Danish labour force is already increasing dramatically. By the end of 2013, SGM expects to have moved all production activities to Denmark, thus ensuring greater flexibility and enhanced quality assurance for its customers.
“It is true that labour costs are higher in Denmark, but this evens out with the savings related to international sea and air freight costs,” said Johansen. “On top of that there is the ‘feel-good’ factor, knowing that all future products will be manufactured under the most acceptable working conditions and environmental considerations, while it enables us to monitor compliance, and uphold strict quality control.”
This accelerated programme has been made possible by a significant strengthening of the capital base, as Danish investment company Industri Udvikling last month confirmed a 30% stake in the group. The company’s equity now stands at nearly €9.5million.
Investment director from Industri Udvikling, Lars Buhl, commented: “SGM and Peter Johansen have demonstrated an impressive phase of development. In a very short time they have not only developed numerous new products, but they have also gained acceptance on the market. I believe that Peter Johansen and his team have ‘done it again’, and that SGM’s prospects are excellent.”
SGM’s turnover has more than doubled from 2012 to 2013 and the high growth rate is expected to continue as SGM is already market leader in several LED-based products.
>This development coincides with the appointment of David P. Meyer (former COO at Velux) as chairman of the board. Announcing the appointment, Peter Johansen says: “Now that SGM has passed the start-up phase and is into the growth phase it makes perfect sense to have such experience and competence in our management.”
“SGM is an innovative and customer-focused company based on highly skilled and dedicated employees. SGM sets new standards in an industry where customer focus, creativity and speed are the key for success. It is motivating and inspiring to be part of a company with such significant growth and high potential. Add to this the fact that this growth is based on national labour makes SGM a great asset for Denmark. There should be more businesses like SGM,” concluded Meyer.