Czech arms and military equipment producer Česká Zbrojovka increased its sales by one percent last year to a record 3.41 billion crowns. The traditional arms manufacturer expects sales to reach 3.85 billion crowns this year.
However, the general director of Česká Zbrojovka, Lubomír Kovařík, refused to link the increased sales in any way to the migration crisis. “Apart from large contracts, which were signed three to five years ago, the sale of our products in 2015 increased by less than a fifth compared to the previous year,” he told the daily e15 some time ago.
He also said that the increased interest in weapons is fueled by Czech and Slovak armed forces, which started to spend more money into guns, rifles, armored vehicles and airplanes after years of savings.
According to Lubomír Kovařík, the company made a successful comeback on the armed forces market and it was also successful in the US. The traditional Czech producer manufactured 250,000 units. Some 105,000 firearms from overall production were handguns.
Zbrojovka also produced 15,000 sports arms last year, mostly guns for sport shooting. “Our guns CZ 75 Shadow dominate the Production class of this field. And we end up on the podium in every race we take part in,” Mr Kovařík told e15.
Zbrojovka exports most of its production - 70 percent – to 98 countries around the world. The US market is a key outlet and the fastest developing market. While five years ago, Zbrojovka exported goods worth 200 million crowns, last year it was 950 million.
“The success in the US is mainly driven by our new range of products, namely the P-07/09m automatic weapon Scorpion. Five years ago, we didn’t have these products and now they are heading sales.” Three years ago, Zbrojovka managed to put a halt to dropping sales in Europe, and since then they have been rising significantly. Sales on the African markets, on the other hand, have been going down, while sales in Asia, South America and Australia have remained more or less the same.
Ninety percent of shares of Zbrojovka belong to the company EHC CZUB, SE, controlled by René Holeček, while the rest is owned by members of the management board. The company currently employs some 1,800 people.