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Members of the Board of Nabaltec AG in the finale of the competition "Entrepreneur of the Year 2013"

Business award recognizes innovation and personal commitment / Award Ceremony on 19 September at the Alte Oper Frankfurt

(PresseBox) (Schwandorf, ) Impressive growth rates, high level of innovation and social commitment: For the 17th time, the audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) has named the best medium sized entrepreneurs in Germany. After a multi-stage, strict selection process, 58 companies have managed to make it to the finale of the competition "Entrepreneur of the Year 2013", including Johannes Heckmann and Gerhard Witzany, Members of the Board of Nabaltec AG. "We are delighted with this success. Reaching the finale in this prestigious competition once again underlines not only our good operating performance, but also reinforces us in our overall strategy. Besides our good results in recent years, this nomination is further evidence of our strong and intact market position," comments Johannes Heckmann.

"Among the finalists are impressive entrepreneurs who successfully occupy new business fields thanks to their innovative strength," says Peter Englisch, Global Leader of the EY Family Business Center of Excellence and responsible for the German Business Award.

The 58 finalists are characterized by innovative technologies and strong customer loyalty. They have efficient organizational structures and short decision paths, and can react flexibly to changing market conditions. They are also aware of their social responsibility: "This year's finalists demonstrate very clearly that business growth and social commitment are not mutually exclusive," clarifies Peter Englisch.

An independent jury made up of renowned industry experts selected the "Entrepreneurs of the Year 2013" from all the finalists. In the categories Capital Goods Industry, Consumer Goods Industry, Trade, Services, IT/Media and Start-up, one winner was announced respectively and honored on 19 September at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt before distinguished guests.

Innovation and employees are the keys to success

The companies in the finale presented significant growth rates. They represent all major industries, achieve a turnover of EUR 100 million on average per year and employ 500 people. In 2012, they hired more than 2,700 new employees compared to the previous year. As an example, Nabaltec also increased its turnover in 2012 to EUR 129.2 million, the number of employees grew to 417. "In spite of an environment that was not getting any easier, in 2012 we were able to slightly improve our turnover figures from the previous year. In addition to quality that is permanently reliable, the basis of our success is attributable to a long-term and close cooperation with our customers," constitutes Johannes Heckmann the growth figures.

A key success factor of this year's finalists is the ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions with innovative products and services: they invest above average in innovation. So they are able to bring innovations to market quickly and confront the growing consolidation in many industries. The successful implementation of innovations is based on qualified and dedicated employees. Apprenticeship and training of employees play a key role within the companies.

About the competition "Entrepreneur of the Year"

The "Entrepreneur of the Year" award honors business excellence in different categories and is decided by an independent jury - worldwide in over 50 countries, in Germany in 2013 for the 17th time. The competition, which is organized by EY is supported by well-known companies and media: These include DZ BANK, Jaguar, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Manager Magazin. Besides honoring successful entrepreneurs, EY also promotes entrepreneurial young talent with the program "Entrepreneur of the Year Junior Academy".

Nabaltec AG

Nabaltec AG, with registered office in Schwandorf, a chemicals business which has received multiple awards for innovativeness, manufactures, develops and distributes highly specialized products based on aluminum hydroxide ("ATH") and aluminum oxide, as well as other raw materials, on an industrial scale through its "Functional Fillers" and "Technical Ceramics" divisions. The company's product range includes halogen-free flame retardant fillers and eco-friendly additives for the plastics industry. Flame retardant fillers are used e.g. in cables in tunnels, airports, high-rise buildings and electronic devices, while additives replace stabilizers containing heavy metals in PVC processing. Nabaltec also produces base materials for use in technical ceramics, the refractory industry and catalysis. Unlike halogenated flame retardant fillers, the products manufactured by the company's "Functional Fillers" division contain no hazardous substances and do not require separate disposal. Rather, the company's flame retardant fillers actually decrease the development of fumes hazardous to human health and the environment in the event of fire. Nabaltec maintains production sites in Germany and the US and plans to continue to consolidate its market position by expanding capacity, further optimizing processes and quality and making strategic extensions to its product range. On the strength of its specialty products, the company strives to attain the market leadership in each segment.