Croatia-based food majors Atlantic Grupa and Podravka are to work together on improving their business in export markets.

The publicly-listed companies said their “mutual export support” would focus on the US and Austria.

Atlantic Grupa, the owner of the Argeta brand, said its distribution company in Austria will look to support Podravka’s business in the European country. Meanwhile, Vegeta brand owner Podravka will place Atlantic Grupa’s products on the US market through its local unit.

“Vegeta and Argeta, as our most prominent export brands, along with the rest of our portfolio, make for logical allies in international markets,” Atlantic Grupa president and CEO Emil Tedeschi said. “We are proud of this agreement, which is based on a very clear logic of taking advantage of joint opportunities.”

Just Food asked Atlantic Grupa for further comment on the plans the two companies have, including whether they would look to take their tie-up into more markets.

A spokesperson said: “We have focused the partnership to these markets because either us or Podravka have our own distribution companies and are already active in these markets – and we see benefits/synergies from a wider product portfolio in each market. Namely, Atlantic Grupa has [its] own distribution in Austria and Podravka in the USA. We are taking a broader portfolio of brands with international potential; with Atlantic Grupa, these are Argeta, Cedevita, Cockta, Donat, Prima [and] Grand Kafa.”

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By GlobalData

In the joint statement announcing the deal, Martina Dalić, the president of Podravka’s management board, said the agreement “is an important step forward in the business practices of Croatian companies abroad”.

Dalić added: “Two strong Croatian companies are joining their forces to boost their exports and strengthen the presence of their brands on both the European and American markets.”

Similarly, Podravka did not comment on the future plans the two groups may have for exports.

In 2022, Atlantic Grupa recorded sales of HRK6.4bn, up 11.8% on a year earlier.

However, “significant” cost increases meant the company’s EBITDA fell 20.6% to HRK575.4m. Net profit decreased 43.2% to HRK 195.7m.

Podravka, meanwhile, booked revenues of HRK5.03bn, which was 8.5% higher than 2021.

EBITDA and net profit both climbed 19.5% to HRK707.2m and HRK369.6m respectively.

Croatia adopted the euro on 1 January.