Czech disc maker cashes in on vinyl record revival

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A Central European company is cashing in on today’s renewed global fashion for collecting vinyl music records.

Disc and packaging manufacturer GZ Media a.s. of Loděnice in the Czech Republic broke its own production record last year managing to press more than 10 million vinyl discs during 2013.

GZ Media, which claims to be the world’s biggest vinyl record makers, mothballed its original record pressing machines back in the late 1980s when vinyl disc sales hit rock bottom.

That was fortunate for the firm, which also manufactures CDs, DVD and a range of packaging, because now vinyl records account for around 30 percent of its total annual sales. Today it serves customers in 42 countries including Sony Music and Universal Music Group.

In 2012, GZ Media, which now employs a workforce numbering 1,432, recorded sales of more than 63 million euros.

In response to growing business, GZ Media is to expand production at its manufacturing site in Soběslav na Táborsku near the Czech capital Prague. The firm is expected to create up to 200 new jobs in the project which is due to come on stream in the final three months of 2014, GZ Media said.

It was back in 1951 that GZ produced its first LP disc. Nowadays, it uses high quality vinyl compound for records which ensures a low background noise, unlike many discs in the past. The firm produces the raw material to its own special formula and is self sufficient in compound supply.

The basic material used in the record production is a powdered copolymer of vinyl chloride and vinyl acetate, mixed in a fluid mixer with the necessary additives. Stabilizers are added to prevent degradation at higher temperatures as well as lubricants so that the material adheres to the pressing tools and finally color.