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Glassware supply suffers as manufacturer folds

Published: 15 July 2008
UK retailers of glassware face supply shortages following the collapse into administration this month of one of Europe's biggest glassware manufacturers.
Slovglass Poltar, the largest Slovak manufacturer and exporter of 24% lead crystal and second largest of soda-lime glass, was no longer able to sustain its huge losses.

The company, which exports more than 90% of its production, supplies several high-profile companies in the UK with glassware. One of them, Gleneagles of Edinburgh, sources around 40% of its product from Slovglass Poltar.

"We're lucky it's not our sole source of supply," said managing director Paul Travis. "In the short term it doesn't worry me." However, he confirmed that Gleneagles is receiving no product from the company at the moment, and he said he did not believe other UK suppliers were either.

"As I understand it [Slovglass Poltar] are trying to salvage their drawn stem business: that's the most profitable. I would suspect it would probably get rescued by the Slovakian government. I'm not expecting to get anything this side of October," he added.

Other suppliers likely to be affected include Royal Doulton, Western House and several larger retailers, which source own-brand product direct from the company.

Slovglass Poltar is strongly oriented towards the US market, and recently has had to cope with a weakening dollar and US spending downturn, along with a hike in the costs of energy and raw materials.

The company employs 900 people and exhibits at Ambiente and Tendence in Frankfurt.

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