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Markets: Distributor Focus – Poland

levels, said Maciej Kapica of systems designer/installer eKap, are “more or less the same”. More typical was the response given by Agata Kielar-Nowak, international co-operation manager at sales/distribution company Shadok AV: “The business at the moment is definitely doing better than this time last year, as 2011 was the key point for our company. During that time we managed to get many prestigious contracts, which in turn gave us references [that will allow us] to concentrate on much bigger and more challenging projects in future.” Also reporting an upward trend that to some extent belies the wider economic context was Michal Bisikiewicz, managing director of GIG Ltd, which acts as a distributor for the likes of Christie, Zero88, HighEnd and A&O Technologies. “We enjoy a very big interest in the world brand products which we have in our portfolio. Last year we doubled our turnover and this year we expect a further 30% growth,” he says. “Our financial results have improved due to the [enhanced offer] of multimedia technologies, and we have captured many new customers, especially among installers.”

But the positive outlook is by no means universal. Bogdan Leszko is the owner of pro-audio and voice alarm specialist Bel Aqustic, which distributes

than in the previous years.”

‘There is less money to spend than in the

previous years’ Bogdan Leszko, Bel Aqustic

brands including Baldwin Boxall, Sabine, RCF and Penton. “A few years ago, there was huge interest [with regard to] the pro-audio market, and nowadays I observe complete stagnation,” says Leszko, who is also involved in not-for-profit intelligent sound solution information provider Bellsonic. “Private investors are waiting for the markets to recover, or have already built what they need, while government investments are postponed or cancelled as money is redirected towards Euro 2012 investments. [In any case] due to the recent economic situation, there is less money to spend

Leszko adds: “Last year many tenders were published as required by the investors; they were finalised, winners were chosen and then nothing happened. [Subsequently] they were postponed until later because there is no cash [to realise them].” Bocian echoes some of these concerns: “Some of the projects we worked on last year were cancelled; some of them have new, smaller budgets. There are also payment issues. This [gives rise to a] very difficult situation, especially for smaller dealers/installers, who can’t afford any delays in payment.”

The Euro 2012 effect

Most contributors were broadly positive about next month’s football championship, for which Poland will provide four out of eight host venues: Warsaw’s National Stadium, Gdansk’s PGE Arena, Wroclaw’s Municipal Stadium (see IE April) and Poznan’s Municipal Stadium. With the exception of the Poznan facility – which has nonetheless been the subject of a significant overhaul – all venues are new and purpose-built. Road and rail links to host stadiums have also been the subject of extensive investment. “In 2011, a substantial part of our income was generated by realisations in sporting complexes, related to the

development of infrastructure for the Euro 2012 championships,” says Klonowski from Trias SA, whose recent project roll-call includes serving as the official technology partner and general contractor of ‘tele-technical’ systems for the aforementioned PGE Arena. Professional service provider Digiservice is another beneficiary of the Euro 2012 effect, having been involved with the Poznan and Gdansk stadium projects. Chief executive Robert Tuczynski underlines the importance of the championship to Digiservice’s 2012: “This year we are going to concentrate mainly on supporting events related to Euro 2012 as well as on reaching the digital cinema industry with our maintenance servicing and distribution offer.”

Technological trends

As far as Klonowski is concerned, the Polish market is very “open to new solutions and technologies” – a view that would appear to be supported by the high-end AV and intercom deployments found across the new football venues. But what of the technological trends that are truly permeating the full spread of Poland pro-AV – from deployments in huge stadiums to more everyday usage in colleges and leisure facilities? For the sheer number of mentions alone, one should probably place new


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