SELENA GROUP, BUILDING SECURITY FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD
Selena Group is a global manufacturer and distributor of construction chemicals and one of the world’s four largest producers of construction foams. With production facilities in Poland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Romania, Turkey, Kazakhstan and China, Selena Group comprises 30 companies and is active in 19 countries. The Group operates an R&D Center coordinating the work of local laboratories. Selena Group’s holding company, Selena FM S.A., has been listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2008.
Interview with Sławomir Majchrowski, CEO of Selena Group.
Easy Engineering: What are the principal areas of the company’s business and its product ranges?
Sławomir Majchrowski: We have been supplying innovative products in nearly 100 countries for more than 30 years. Foams, sealants, adhesives, waterproofing products, insulation systems, fixings and our complete energy roof system not only save energy, water and time but also make buildings much more energy-efficient. The top quality and advanced technology of our products have been appreciated by our customers and partners who order Selena’s recognizable brands such as Tytan Professional®, Quilosa Professional®, COOL-R® and Matizol®.
E.E: Tell us about your new products. What are the most innovative products you have put on the market?
S.M: Selena Group’s leading brand, Tytan Professional®, spans a wide range of products for construction and finishing works, such as PU foams, sealants, adhesives, wood preservatives, tapes, insulation systems, mortars, plasters and much more. Tytan Professional® provides comprehensive and effective solutions at all stages of construction and renovation. Tytan Professional® products are trusted by professionals around the globe. Let me describe only some of the solutions from this line.
Our proposition includes a proprietary foam-adhesive technology that significantly speeds up and improves the efficiency of construction works in addition to lowering energy and water consumption as well as substantially reducing the carbon footprint. Our technology also helps ensure the health and safety of workers (no need to carry heavy bags), contributes to reduce process interruptions and speeds up the construction process, enabling us to be a global leader in the field of foam adhesives.
We also offer Tytan Professional® WINS Systems, easy to install, innovative 3-layer window sealing and insulation systems comprising integrated products that, when used as a system, can be installed up to 4x faster, and ensure the highest quality of frame-to-frame joints. The windows fitted with Tytan Professional® WINS Systems come with a certificate and a 20-year tightness warranty confirmed by ITB tests.
Lastly, I want to say a few words about our new product – the high-yield, low-pressure Tytan Professional® LOW-EX GREEN gun foam, whose unique formulation is partly based on raw materials derived from fully renewable sources. A can of LOW-EX GREEN foam contains up to 15% of such raw materials: they are called BIOSELENOLS® and are made using Selena’s proprietary technology. The product is characterized by high yield (up to 50 liters per can) and controlled, very low secondary growth (Low-Ex technology), which guarantees safe installation and protects door frames from warping. Additionally, thanks to its dense structure, the product offers good sound insulation – up to 63 dB, confirmed by research. It can be used to fit interior doors, ensuring that they are resistant to warping, and is significantly better for the environment than many traditional products.
E.E: What is the current state of play in the market?
S.M: The global economy is now in a worse position than it was in 2022. The production and use of construction materials are declining in each of our key market: Central Europe, Western Europe and the United States. In 2022, we suffered from disrupted supply chains, lower availability of raw materials and unusually high price spikes, while this year our biggest worries include high inflation and higher energy costs, which means higher production costs. Inflation is hugely impacting our customers, as it raises the cost of credit and eats into household disposable income. We’re seeing this in almost every country where we sell our products. On top of that, consumer attitudes have changed. After numerous lockdowns, people want to enjoy life more than before. They spend more on pleasures and less on construction and renovations. This, however, doesn’t mean I am not optimistic about the future. I believe the industry has already hit the bottom and it may take a year or so to recover. I don’t expect spectacular growth in that period. It won’t be before the second half of 2024 that we are likely to see a bigger improvement.
E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?
S.M: There are multiple trends at the moment, but I want to focus on the one that I believe is the most important. In early July, the European Parliament adopted new legislation geared at increasing energy savings as part of the European Green Deal. Thermal modernization of buildings is a tool supporting this goal. Energy transition is now being actively addressed by the EU as one of the key issues of the future. It is a strategic component of the policy aimed at achieving and promoting EU autonomy in the energy field, as well as making our part of the world safe and sustainable. The EU directives set the direction, while it is governments as well as businesses that have the tools to implement the EU goals. This involves thermal modernization, which is a subject that is close to our hearts at Selena Group.
Badly insulated, leaky buildings increase the cost of thermal energy and emit more pollutants into the environment. Thermal modernization is now instrumental to sustainable construction. But it must involve the right materials. We want to make this process easier for users, so, under the guidance of experts, we’ve been developing special product sets designed for specific uses. They include a whole array of solutions that can be matched to the requirements of different buildings. Selena’s product sets include primers, plasters, adhesives and mesh, among others. Six variants have been created to facilitate Styrofoam and mineral-wool thermal modernization: breathable/non-flammable, self-cleaning, commercial, universal, economic and decorative. These sets will cater to the needs of any building, regardless of your budget, which can be crucial especially in the case of self-build projects. Sealing foams and foam adhesives, as an alternative to traditional cement adhesives, represent an unquestionable advantage of our product range. We are closely following current environmental trends and trends in sustainable construction, and therefore in responsible design and construction, and we strongly believe that our products are among the best thermal modernization solutions.
E.E: What are your plans for the remainder of 2023 and beyond?
S.M: In July, we signed a strategic partnership agreement with Masterplast, a key aspect of which is the acquisition of a 50% stake in a project created to launch a glass-wool production plant in Szerencs, Hungary. In late August, we finalized the acquisition of Imperalum, a leader in the Portuguese bitumen products market, a manufacturer of bitumen membranes modified with APP – atactic polypropylene – for a high softening point. These steps have been taken as part of the Group’s growth strategy. We are focusing on geographic expansion, both in terms of organic growth and growth through acquisitions. We are mainly interested in Western Europe, especially the Benelux countries, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also the Americas. We are looking to acquire companies that fit in with our growth strategy. Our goal is primarily to expand our global reach, but we are also seeking opportunities to increase our production capacity. Selena Group is expanding its market shares in markets where Selena products are known and widely available. I don’t expect higher demand levels in 2024, so the battle for market shares will be fierce. We are pursuing acquisition projects to be prepared for a recovery in the future. In the shorter term, we are strengthening our competitive advantages so that end users, that is construction contractors, are more likely to choose Selena products, especially its key brand Tytan Professional®. We’ll be placing a strong focus on marketing efforts.
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