Fortenova Group has invested €125 million in the business in 2021 and plans to invest another €130 million in the forthcoming period.
The total investment is expected to amount to €255 over two years, the company said.
Fabris Peruško, member of the board of directors and chief executive officer of Fortenova Group, said, “We have brought the company to an acceptable level of leverage and enabled it to invest in the development of its core businesses, while also generating excellent operational results.
"With the planned additional deleveraging we expect our investment potential to grow to a level of up to €200 million, where we already have an elaborate and innovative business plan in place[…].”
The plan includes the opening of more than 200 new or refurbished retail stores across the region, new distribution centres, a new e-commerce platform, and launching innovative food products.
In 2021, the company invested in a new, state-of-the-art technology aseptic line for bottling refreshing soft drinks at Jana worth €11.5 million, an extraction plant at Dijamant with a capacity of 1,200 tonnes per day, and a new slaughterhouse at PIK Vrbovec.
The Dijamant plant is worth €29.3 million, while the new slaughterhouse cost the company around €8.2 million.
Fortenova also upgraded its ketchup production plant at Zvijezda to 10,000 tonnes, acquired the Osijek-based dairy, and launched a new milk and dairy product line under the brand ‘Kravica Kraljica’.
In the food segment, it launched a plant-based range, the Planet of Plants, and the PIK&GO meat snacks line.
Sotiris Yannopoulos, executive director for food and beverages at Fortenova Group, commented, "Our strong investment projects in the food and beverage segment, amounting to more than €50 million, are intended to further strengthen the leading market positions of our brands, while at the same time extend Fortenova Group’s product portfolio in order to respond to new trends and emerging consumer preferences."
In the retail segment, the company invested in Konzum's acquisition of the Istria-based retailer, Miracolo, and the opening of 45 new Konzum stores.
Fortenova also completed several digital projects, including the introduction of payment in cryptocurrencies at Konzum.
Yannopoulos added, "These investments also demonstrate in a tangible manner the new orientation of our company towards more sustainable and efficient operations.
"Last but certainly not least, the increase in production capacities constitutes the basis for expanding our regional presence by entering new markets and categories, which shall fundamentally improve the competitive edge of all our companies."