Croatia’s Atlantic Grupa, which has been in the process of selling off non-core assets to concentrate on food and drinks, plans to build a factory to expand production of its savoury spreads brand Argeta.
The company is investing EUR50m (US$59.4m) to construct the plant in the Kneginec business zone, located near the northern county of Varaždin, a project that will create 150 jobs once completed in the expected time frame of 15 months, it said.
Atlantic Grupa operates two other production facilities for Argeta spreads – one in the town of Izola, Slovenia, and the other in Hadžici, a town and municipality in the Sarajevo Canton of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Headquartered in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, Atlantic Grupa’s presence in food now primarily revolves around snacks, with brands such as Smoki and Keksi, and spreads, after selling off its Bebi baby food line in 2019 and its sports nutrition and functional foods business the previous year. It has also made an exit from the food supplements and cosmetics category.
Its key markets are Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro, and Macedonia, while the company also exports to other countries in the European Union.
Atlantic Grupa noted spreads accounted for 15.9% of total sales revenues in 2020, recording growth of 15.1%.
Group sales in the year ended 31 December fell 3.3% to HRK5.3bn (US$831.8m) and EBITDA dropped 8% to HRK716.5m.
EBIT was also down at HRK442.2m, a decline of 11.6%, while net profit decreased 12.3% to HRK342.3m.