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. From the start onwards, positive development has contributed to Benders now being active in several different business areas and establishing itself as one of the market-leading producers of concrete and natural stone products in the Nordic countries. At the same time, our shares of the new markets in Europe are ever increasing and our ranges in construction products and construction systems grow 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 three generations of Benders: Karl-Erik; Helen (his daughter); Ove (his son and the company’s managing director and the group manager); and, Karl-Erik’s eight grandchildren. Our head office is still where Benders all started – Edsvära, just outside Kvänum in the Västergötland region of Sweden.

Benders has Swedish and European production facilities. In Sweden, we have strategic locations from Norberg in the north to Åstorp in the south. Our stone cutting operations are in the Bohuslän region. In Uddevalla, Strängnäs and Bålsta, we have three of our factories for construction components, roof tiles and paving stones. With a total of over 20 production facilities, we are always near you, our customers.

Out in Europe, we have warehouses, sales companies and distributors at some thirty sites. 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.

QEW - Quality, Environment, Work environment

All QEW (quality, environment and work environment) initiatives are integrated into our daily work. They are also detailed in the company’s management system. Our QEW initiatives are founded on systematic management to: reduce the risks of errors and occupational ill health and accidents; and, to create the right conditions for the continuous improvement of operations.

Read more about our QEW initiatives here.

Social commitment

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.

Significant milestones

  • 1960: Roof tile manufacture starts in Edsvära

    The first roof-tile machine arrives and concrete roof tile production 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.

  • 1960: Basis of the Palema stables and stud laid

    The basis of today’s Palema stables and stud is laid in 1960 when Karl-Erik Bender and Tore Ernfridsson (a trainer at the Axevalla trotting stadium) go to an auction at the Brodda stud in Skåne and buy our first horse. In the country setting of Varaslätten, Edsvära is still home to the Palema stables and stud. It has produced many top horses over the years. This includes two Solvalla International Elite Race winners, Gidde Palema and Torvald Palema.

  • 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 (our racing stables and stud farm). Competing against Sweden’s best horses, she took 10 straight victories.

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

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

  • 1969: Benders’ Palema profile (a double pantile) is born

    Bender Palema, our classical double pantile design, is born. Suitable for all roofs, this has been the most laid roof tile in Sweden ever since the 1960s.

  • 1974: Benders’ Exklusiv (a traditional pantile) is launched

    Bender Exklusiv, our traditional pantile with a higher profile and a more pronounced waviness, is launched on the market. Thanks to its distinct character, the tile is soon popular and is now seen on all types of houses, rural as well as urban.

  • 1974: Knabe’s year for the Palema stables

    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 head office 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 its first roof tile

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

  • 1986: Benders Norge AS is established

    Benders delivered its first roof tiles to Norway as early as 1981. Market share soon supports setting up our own sales company in the port town of Sandefjord. This is in southwestern Norway, close to the border with Sweden.

  • 1986: Benders starts USA investment with a roof tile factory in Florida

    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 roof tile factory set up in Braås, 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.

  • 1989: Benders’ present logo arrives

    Using rectangles that have the same proportions as our first roof tiles, Benders’ present logo is created.

  • 1992: Alf Palema wins the Hambletonian Stakes

    In 1989, Highland Bridget, who was later to foal Alf Palema, is bought. This proves 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. He is under a Bohus granite memorial stone which states that this was an extraordinary horse.

  • 1993: KPAB in Kvänum is acquired

    KPAB, an engineering workshop in Kvänum, is acquired and a new product range is later introduced into the company – construction products in glass and metal.

  • 1995: Benders starts importing clay tiles

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

  • 1995: Ove Bender becomes MD

    Ove Bender, son of Karl-Erik Bender (company founder and chairman of the board), is appointed the company’s managing director and the group manager.

  • 1998: Own manufacture of roof tiles starts in Kritzkow, 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 is formed

    In line with increasing sales outside home bases, the need for contact with foreign customers also increased. Using a company aeroplane, we offer visits to Sweden. Despite long distances, our closeness to companies grows. On a weekly schedule, several groups (e.g. from Norway or Finland) can take turns to visit Edsvära and other facilities. One group can fly home after a couple of days in Edsvära and a new group can be Sweden-bound on the return journey.

  • 2000: Benders sets up in Finland

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

  • 2001: New roof tile factory in Greece

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

  • 2001: New roof tile factory in Bålsta

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

  • 2001: New range – paving stones

    Having reached an optimum threshold on the roof tile market in Sweden, Benders invests in expanding its range.

  • 2001: Acquisition of paving stone factories in Hjo and Frillesås

    As part of Benders’ range-widening strategy, paving stone factories are acquired in Hjo and Frillesås.

  • 2004: Gidde Palema, Sweden’s most successful trotting stallion wins the “Solvalla International Elite Race”

    Gidde Palema, sired by Alf Palema, wins the “Solvalla International Elite Race” after a remarkable comeback. Åke Svanstedt was in the sulky.

  • 2005: Inauguration of the paving stone factory in Bålsta

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

  • 2006: Acquisition of Spikma Betong AB

    Range-widening carries on with the acquisition of Spikma Betong AB. This manufacturer’s output includes pinned kerbing. Benders is now in a position to be a complete supplier of concrete products for both private and public projects.

  • 2006: Start of Benders’ Carisma roof tile (a flat profile)

    Bender Carisma, our flat tile that gives roofs a slate-like appearance, is introduced to the market. Adding that little extra to every house, its modern design is in striking contrast to the traditional image of a roof tile.

  • 2007: Paving stone factory in Fjärås is purchased

    The investment in paving stones soon proves to be correct. To meet the great demand, a paving stone factory is also acquired in Fjärås.

  • 2008: Own landscaping production in Norway

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

  • 2008: Benders Baltic Nord OÜ is established

    Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the need for renovation and new building in large parts of the Baltic is still enormous. Thus, it is hardly a surprise when Benders establishes Benders Baltic Nord, a subsidiary in Pärnu, southern Estonia. With its own warehousing facility for roof tiles and paving stones (serving both Estonia and Lithuania), operations are run in collaboration with a local enterprise.

  • 2010: Benders starts investment in trains

    To create new distribution channels, Benders invests 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: Benders acquires Floda Cementgjuteri AB

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

  • 2010: Logistics centre in Kongsvinger, Norway, is set up

    The building of the Kongsvinger logistics centre and warehouse (which stocks our full ranges) provides the right conditions for continued expansion in Norway.

  • 2011: Benders acquires Uddevalla Cementgjuteri AB

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

  • 2012: Factory and logistics centre in Åstorp is established

    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 to our other ranges of high-quality products.

  • 2013: Benders makes major investment in Uddevalla and acquires factory from Volvo

    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 starts a new company in Vara, 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: UAB Benders Lietuva is established

    Having successfully set up in Estonia a few years earlier, Benders sees great potential in also setting up in Lithuania. With space for warehousing, offices and showrooms, a logistics centre is built in Klaipėda, Lithuania’s largest port. The centre supplies Benders’ complete ranges to Lithuania, Kaliningrad and Belarus. Roof tiles are supplied primarily from Benders’ German factory in Rostock. Accessories and paving stones are supplied from Sweden.

  • 2014: Benders starts Restaurang Kärranäs in Uddevalla

    In the autumn, Benders starts 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 AB and Benders Byggsystem AB is formed

    After the summer, Skanska Stomsystem AB, previously owned by Skanska Sverige AB, becomes a part of the Benders group. The company manufactures and erects prefabricated construction elements used in the building of homes, commercial premises, multistorey 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. In making the acquisition, Benders forms Benders Byggsystem AB.

  • 2015: Stockholm office inaugurated

    After acquiring Skanska Stomsystem, Benders sets up its Stockholm office in the former Riksbanken building in Östermalm. These premises subsequently become the head office of Benders Byggsystem AB.

  • 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. The success of this weekend leads to Benders also being the main sponsor for the 2017 Elitloppet at Solvalla.

  • 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.

  • 2016: Benders acquires Norbergstrappan AB

    Benders acquires Norbergstrappan AB in Norberg, one of Sweden’s leading manufacturers of prefabricated concrete stairs. The range will eventually be developed and further production sites within Benders (e.g. the Uddevalla factory) will manufacture stairs in the future.

  • 2017: Benders starts production at the Uddevalla factory

    Built by Benders Byggsystem, a new, modern, 1,855 m² production hall with an automated kerb stone line starts up in Ävja. In the long term, this new factory will satisfy the entire Swedish demand for kerb stones. At the same time, this facility is also part of our continued investment in robotised factories. This is how we are moving towards more in-house production and less importing. It creates more employment in Sweden and, thanks to reduced transport, fewer emissions.

  • 2017: Benders acquires Leca Sverige AB

    Benders acquires a cement factory from Leca Sverige AB. Its products include the so-called Alba beam and expanded clay beams.

  • 2017: New kerb stone line starts in Ävja

    Built by Benders Byggsystem, a new, modern, 1,855 m² production hall with an automated kerb stone line starts up in Ävja. In the long term, this new factory will satisfy the entire Swedish demand for kerb stones. At the same time, this facility is also part of our continued investment in robotised factories. This is how we are moving towards more in-house production and less importing. It creates more employment in Sweden and, thanks to reduced transport, fewer emissions.

  • 2018: Benders investing in solar energy

    When you consider the enormous energy in sunlight, having some form of solar cell in or on your property should be an obvious step. This is why Benders is now set to play a major part in this field. In collaboration with SolTech Energy, which develops and sells building-integrated solar energy products, Benders has developed a solar cell that can be fully integrated into a roof that has Benders’ Carisma tiles – an elegant solution. Benders is additionally working on developing an equally appealing model for Palema type roof tiles.

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 six separate business areas: construction products; construction systems; construction products in glass and metal; property management; horses; and, restaurant operations.

Construction products

Concrete, tile and natural stone products divided into eight ranges – Roofing; Landscaping; Natural Stone; Infrastructure; Foundations; Wall Blocks; Construction Components; and, Stairways and Balconies.

Construction systems

Turnkey solutions for prefabricated framework element systems. We take care of planning, project management, production and erection.

Glass and metal

Partly Benders-owned KPAB offers the market’s widest range of glass and metal construction products.

Property management

Management of our various production and logistics facilities as well as of other properties, in total comprising around 250,00 m².

Palema stables and stud farm

Has roots going back to the 1960s and is one of Sweden’s most successful stables. Horses such as Alf Palema and Gidde Palema are known throughout the trotting world.

Restaurang Kärranäs

Along with famous chef Fredric Andersson, Benders runs the Kärranäs food concept. Its offerings include lunches, catering and a delicatessen in Uddevalla.

Benders in numbers

2 100 000 000

ca. annual turnover is SEK 2.1 billion

950

ca. 950 people are employed in Benders

12 000

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

350

The length, in metres, of the train unit transporting Benders’ products between our production units.

250

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

8 000

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.