The natural choice

Guaranteed Benders’ quality since 1960

This is Benders

Ever since starting in 1960, our ambition has been to satisfy customer needs. Our operations are permeated by a local presence and a local responsiveness to the business climate. Together with receptiveness, this provides the foundations for long and strong relations with customers, suppliers and, not least, personnel. Positive development for almost 55 years has contributed to Benders now being active in five different business areas and establishing itself as one of the market-leading producers of roofing and landscaping products in the Nordic countries. At the same time, shares in the new European markets are ever increasing and our other product ranges in concrete and granite (natural stone, foundations, walling and infrastructure) are growing with every season.

Business idea and strategy

Benders’ ambition is to be a strong, Swedish, family-owned company that develops, produces and markets competitive high-quality products and services for the construction and civil engineering sector.

Our customer relations shall be built on a long-term commitment in which great value is placed on knowledge of the industry, experience and personal service. Benders shall combine experience and expertise with inquisitiveness as regards new trends. We shall develop along with our customers. In this way, we shall create tomorrow’s best products in our field and contribute to the long-term sustainability of an environment in which people live, work and socialise.

To create the right conditions for expansion, and to cope with fluctuations in levels of economic activity, profits shall be reinvested in the company. Our operations shall be characterised by a strong commitment to our undertakings and a conviction that our work is beneficial for our customers and our environment.

The way we work shall be driven by the philosophy of tackling problems where they arise and thereby creating lasting improvements. We shall cherish a vision of continually developing our products, our technologies and our personnel in order to strengthen the Benders brand. We shall, in this way, be industry leaders in our product areas.

Ownership and structure

Benders was founded in 1960 by Karl-Erik Bender. Today, the company is owned by Karl-Erik, his daughter, Helen, and his son Ove, who is also the company’s managing director and the group manager. Our head office is still where Benders all started – Edsvära, just outside Kvänum in the Västergötland region of Sweden.

Edsvära is also home to one of the three Swedish production facilities for roof tiles. The two others are in Bålsta and Braås. Our two overseas facilities are in Germany and Greece. In addition to these, Benders has eight factories manufacturing paving stones and other concrete products in Sweden and the Nordic countries. Naturally enough, our Bohus granite production facilities are in the Bohuslän region of Sweden.

Out in Europe, we have warehouses, sales companies and distributors in some thirty places. Geographically spread manufacturing units and stocks are essential for environment-friendly production. Short distances for inward and outward deliveries, as well as closeness to ports and railways, are important factors.

Commitment to the environment and society

Benders has had an environmental certificate since 1999 and was the first in Sweden to achieve certification for a roof tile manufacturing operation.

Concern for the environment pervades all we do. Before implementation, we carefully weigh the environmental impact of our decisions.

Just as our operations are permeated by a local presence and a local responsiveness to the business climate, our commitment to communities is similarly characterised by a local involvement in sports clubs and other associations and foundations.

In addition to our local commitments, Benders has for many years worked closely with Star for Life and Barncancerfonden.

Star for Life is an educational programme aimed at inspiring and motivating children and adolescents to focus on their education and health. Star for Life is particularly active in South Africa, but is now also introducing its pedagogy in Swedish schools.

Barncancerfonden fights against childhood cancer and ensures that affected children, adolescents and their families get the care and assistance they need.

Download our environmental certificate (PDF-document, 1,5 MB)

Download our environmental policy (PDF-document, 170 kB)

Significant milestones

  • 1960: First roof tile machine arrives

    Production of concrete roof tiles starts in Edsvära. Karl-Erik and Arne Bender are here shown with Harry Ferdinandsson, the machine seller’s representative. Standing on the far right is Lennart Johansson, who would work for the company for over 40 years.

  • 1962: Palema Fibber wins its first race

    Palema Fibber enters and wins its first race. The time of 1.29.2 was then a record for a first-start at Axevalla. Thore Ernfridsson was in the sulky and the record stood for three years. Palema Fibber was bought in 1960 and later gave her name to Stall och Stuteri Palema (a racing stables and stud farm). Competing against Sweden’s best horses, she took 10 straight victories.

  • 1964: Sweden’s largest producer of concrete roof tiles

    Benders was, by this time, Sweden’s largest individual producer of concrete roof tiles. Thereafter, the standardisation of roof tiles led to many small manufacturers vanishing from the market.

  • 1974: Knabe’s year

    Knabe, a stallion from the Palema racing stables, wins the “Åby Grand Prize” and is invited to compete in the world championship at Roosevelt Raceway in New York. Along with Knabe and stable lad Björn Martinsson, a young Ove Bender takes the freight aircraft to the USA. A memorable occasion for the entire Bender family and the driver, Olle Goop. The world championship was not captured, but the season finished with taking the Swedish championship at Åby.

  • 1979: New offices in Edsvära

    The new offices in Edsvära are ready for moving into. They have now been extended twice. Along with other newly built premises, they still house Benders’ head office.

  • 1981: Benders exports

    We make an initial delivery of roof tiles to Norway, which becomes our first and most important export country.

  • 1986: Investment in the USA

    Running a profitable company in Sweden is difficult at this point in time. Gunnar Sträng, Sweden’s Minister for Finance, was taking 87% of profits in tax. This left little over for new investment. Many important Swedish companies moved abroad. Benders stayed but, nonetheless, invested in operations in America. After almost a decade in Florida, the American company was sold to facilitate new investment in Europe (primarily Germany).

  • 1989: New factory in Småland

    After a long collaboration, the Stilpannan company is for sale in Braås. This gives Benders the opportunity to make its first external acquisition of a company and thereby create a wider market for itself.

  • 1992: Alf Palema wins the Hambletonian Stakes

    In 1989, the purchase of Highland Bridget, who was later to foal Alf Palema, was incredibly significant for the Bender family’s horse ownership activities and the Palema racing stables. Alf Palema won both the Hambletonian Stakes and the World Trotting Derby. He was also voted the best trotter in the USA, both as a three-year old and older. Five times champion stallion in Sweden, he sired the well-known Gidde Palema and Thorvald Palema. Since 2013, Alf Palema has laid at rest in Edsvära, under a Bohus granite memorial stone which states that this was an extraordinary horse.

  • 1995: Clay tile imports

    As one element in a wide range, it was now time to also offer clay roof tiles.

  • 1998: Factory in Germany

    After several years of exporting to, and warehousing in, Germany, the new production facility is ready in the Rostock area of the former East Germany. The four to five articulated lorries that daily took roof tiles from Sweden to Germany could now traffic new routes.

  • 1999: Benders Air starts up

    In line with increasing sales outside home bases, the need for contact with foreign customers also increased. By offering visits to Sweden, made possible via a company aeroplane, closeness to companies grew despite long distances. For a week, several groups from, for example, Norway or Finland, could take turns in visiting Edsvära and other facilities. One group could fly home after a couple of days in Edsvära and a new group could be Sweden-bound on the return journey.

  • 2000: Setting up in Finland

    Yet another element in Benders’ investment in overseas operations. This too expanded through customer visits (using Benders Air) to Sweden. Initially, only roof tiles were sold in Finland. Today, paving stones and other Benders’ products also have a growing market here.

  • 2001: New factory in Greece

    After many years of roof tile deliveries to Greece, it was time to extend our Greek collaboration. The result was a newly built production facility and joint ownership with the Tziotzioy family in Karditza (SkLT 1, Nov 2000).

  • 2001: New roof tile factory in Bålsta

    Benders was keen to grow on the Stockholm market and was looking for an appropriate location and suitable premises. Bålsta was satisfactory on both counts. It is now home to our largest unit and covers both roof tile and paving stone production.

  • 2001: Addition to range – paving stones

    Having reached an optimum threshold on the roof tile market in Sweden, Benders invested in expanding its range. Paving stone factories were acquired in Hjo, Frillesås and Fjärås.

  • 2005: Paving stone factory ready in Bålsta

    Investment in widening the company’s ranges continues. This time with expansion in Bålsta and a new paving stone facility.

  • 2006: Additional range – Spikma

    Range expansion continues and Benders is now in a position to be a complete supplier of concrete products for both private and public projects.

  • 2008: Own production in Norway

    Benders acquires Lasken Stein in Sandefjord. This gives the company its own paving stone production in Norway.

  • 2010: Benders starts train investment

    To create new distribution channels, Benders has invested in its own locomotives, wagons and railway container system. Two trains per week now travel between our largest facility in Bålsta and our distribution centre in Kongsvinger. The outward freight is concrete products for Norway. Gravel for production makes up the return load. Apart from this, the wagons are primarily used for transport between the Åstorp and Uddevalla facilities.

  • 2010: New factory in Floda

    Benders acquires Floda Cementgjuteri and thereby adds infrastructure products to its ever widening ranges.

  • 2011: New factory in Uddevalla

    Investment in becoming a complete supplier of concrete products continues with the acquisition of Uddevalla Cementgjuteri. This adds expanded clay blocks to the ranges.

  • 2012: New factory and logistics centre in Åstorp

    Through the newly opened logistics centre and the new factory for infrastructure products in Åstorp, east of Helsingborg, Benders’ position is strengthened in southern Sweden and the Öresund region. With a rail line into the complex, the location is excellent and enables combined transport in many different ways.

  • 2012: Benders acquires Bohusgranit

    Yet another important acquisition for the group. Bohusgranit, a famous brand and perhaps the best granite in the world, is now a part of Benders. It is with great pride that we add granite products to our other ranges of high-quality products.

  • 2013: Benders’ major investment in Uddevalla

    The acquisition of Bohusgranit leads to yet another purchase in Bohus county. While searching for new premises to further increase the efficiency of granite production, Volvo’s Uddevalla factory came onto the market. After long negotiations, Benders became the purchasers and the premises (strategically located next to a motorway, railway and port) are now an exciting addition to the group.

  • 2014: Benders Isolering AB starts up

    Through the acquisition of machines and premises, Benders has started a new company, Benders Isolering AB. Benders currently uses cellular plastic in, amongst other things, the manufacture of base elements. Most of Vara’s cellular plastic production will be used for the company’s own needs.

  • 2014: Benders starts Restaurang Kärranäs in Uddevalla

    In the autumn, Benders started Kärranäs, a restaurant that is a joint venture with Fredric Andersson, a son of Uddevalla and famous TV chef from Sweden’s TV4 and SVT. Located at Benders’ factory in Uddevalla, Kärranäs has seating for 400 diners and the capacity to serve 2,000 meals. Besides fantastic lunches and dinners, Kärranäs also offers a catering service, a delicatessen and conference and party arrangements. 

  • 2015: Benders acquires Skanska Stomsystem

    After the summer, Skanska Stomsystem AB, previously owned by Skanska Sverige AB, became a part of the Benders group. The company manufactures and erects prefabricated construction elements used in the building of homes, commercial premises, multi-storey car parks and halls. The acquisition is one link in Benders’ ambition to be a turnkey supplier of products and services for the construction and civil engineering sector.

  • 2016: Benders main sponsor of elite trotting weekend at Solvalla

    There is great cheering as Gidde Palema and Torvald Palema, two former equine winners of this prestige event, lead the parade for Elitloppet Benders 2016. As the title sponsors, Benders also enables horses to be flown in directly from the USA. Trainers Åke Svanstedt and Jimmy Takter take advantage of this and enjoy great success on their visit to Sweden. Örjan Kihlström is in the sulky that Nuncio pulls to victory.

  • 2016: Benders acquires WMB

    Benders acquires Walldén Markbetong AB in Skärplinge, a company that makes and sells paving stones, walling systems, L-retaining elements and weights for anchoring underwater lines. In the long term, the purchase will strengthen Benders’ distribution channels in northern Sweden.

History

The year was 1934. Black Tuesday (29 October 1929, New York Stock Exchange) had deeply scarred economic development all around the world. With echoes of our “Kreuger Crash” still reverberating, Sweden was certainly no exception. Downturn is the modern word for it. In those days, it was depression. Unemployment was high, poverty was still widespread and the birth rate was lower than ever. It was in this sorry year that Karl-Erik Bender was born in tiny Edsvära.

Read more

Our operations

The Benders group is currently active in five different business areas: concrete and granite products; construction system; air operations; horses; and, property management.

CONCRETE AND GRANITE PRODUCTS

The oldest of our business areas and, thus far, the bedrock of the Benders group. We offer a wide and full range of concrete and granite products for roofing, landscaping, walling, foundations and infrastructure.

Benders Construction System

This part of our operations offers turnkey solutions for prefabricated construction element systems. We take care of planning, project management, production and erection.

PALEMA RACING STABLES AND STUD FARM

Our operations here have their roots in the 1960s. The horses Gidde Palema and Alf Palema are famous names in the racing world and have contributed to the Palema stables being amongst the leading winners in Sweden.

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT

Along with external premises for leasing (e.g. the former Volvo factory in Uddevalla), our production and logistics facilities form the basis of our property portfolio.

BENDERS AIR

The group’s aircraft, a Cessna Citation Bravo, provides a flexible taxi service that rapidly reaches far out into Europe.

Benders in numbers

1 800 000 000

ca. annual turnover is SEK 1.8 billion

765

ca. 765 people are employed in Benders

130 000 000

The number of kg of cement Benders uses in a year. It equals almost 3,500 full cement lorries.

12 000

One day’s production of paving stones covers around two football pitches or 12,000 square metres.

250

One day’s production of roof tiles is sufficient for the roofs of around 250 normal-sized detached houses.

7 500

The number of products you can choose from in Benders’ ranges.

TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS

The Braås Åkeri haulage company has been Benders road transport supplier for many years. It has the experience, vehicles and equipment necessary for ensuring dependable deliveries.

Benders own investment in rail transport (container system included therein) has won the DB Schenker Logistics Award, the industry’s most prestigious prize.

You can read more about transport planning, warehousing, crane lorries and trains in our company presentation.