Business magazine Frjáls verslun named Valdimar Hafsteinsson, the 44-year-old manager of the ice cream company Kjörís in Hveragerdi, Businessperson of the Year 2010. The award was presented to him by Minister of Industry Katrín Júlíusdóttir at a festive ceremony yesterday.
The jury concluded that Hafsteinsson had earned the honor for professional and thrifty operations, efficiency, modesty and resourcefulness, which has made Kjörís a sound frontrunner in the market and one of best known brands in the country, as stated on the publisher’s website.
Hafsteinsson has been Kjörís’s manager for 16 years and has developed it with his siblings and mother after his father, who was among the company’s, passed away suddenly in 1993 at 59.
Kjörís, which was founded 41 years ago, is a family company. It only bases on inner growth and has never taken over another company. There are four women and one man on Kjörís’s board.
The company’s turnover in 2009 was ISK 902 million (USD 7.8 million, EUR 5.9 million) and profits before taxes ISK 43 million (USD 370,000, EUR 279,000). It has low debts and a strong equity share of 59 percent.
Kjörís is considered a medium-sized industrial company and is the fourth largest employer in Hveragerdi. The company was careful during the economic bubble of 2003-2007 and benefits from that now.
At the same time almost 7,000 small and medium-sized companies are in need of refinancing after the banking collapse in 2008.