Friday, 13 September 2019

Salvus Realises Investment Worth 50 Million Kuna in Donja Stubica

As Jozo Vrdoljak/Novac writes on the 12th of September, 2019, the new headquarters of the Croatian pharmaceutical company Salvus have now been opened in Donja Stubica. This is the largest private investment in Hrvatsko Zagorje in recent times, worth more than 50 million kuna.

This is Salvus' first own space since its founding back in 2003, spanning 4444 square metres, and its construction and furnishing has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Most of the highly qualified 145 employees are currently working at the new headquarters, and in addition to its current office and distribution purpose, Salvus will soon begin producing its own production portfolio of M.E.V. Feller, with whom they want to go global.

Donja Stubica has a long and famous tradition of being in the world of pharmacies because it was here that Eugen Viktor Feller, a pioneer of industrial drug production in Croatia, opened his first pharmacy way back in 1899 and started production of the Elsa fluid preparation several years later, which he exported throughout Europe, the USA, and even to China.

"We strive to connect the celebrated Croatian-conquered Donja Stubica tradition of pharmeuticals with modern technology and scientific advances. Our highly qualified team, whose education we're continuously investing in, are focused on developing and marketing products that promote taking responsibility for one's own health, disease prevention and self-treatment. With this investment and business expansion, we want to strengthen the efficiency of the company and increase its competitiveness on both the domestic and foreign markets, which will ultimately lead to an increase in revenues and thus new employment,'' said Teodor Švaljek, CEO of Salvus.

The Salvus company was initially formed from the Švaljek Pharmacies, begun by Teodor Švaljek with his mother Josipa Švaljek, back in 1997 in Marija Bistrica. In addition to the pharmacy business, the Salvus Group now operates regionally, representing others and creating its own product portfolio of nutritional supplements, medical products, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

They operate across six markets with headquarters in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kosovo.

The Group, together with Švaljek Pharmacies, employs a total of 265 people, whose average net salary is 8,000 kuna. The company saw continuous revenue growth of almost 136 million kuna in 2018, of which just over 23 million kuna is from exports, and this year exports are growing at a rate of 67 percent.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Two Croatian Engineers Turn Small Business into Factory with 300 Employees

When they tell you to dream big, the realistic (and perhaps a little pessimistic) little voice in your head tells you to keep it small, that it will never happen, that you won't get that lucky... Especially if you've embarked on a humble business with your friend, and the location of said business is in a Croatian village, and in your garage...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of September, 2019, thirty years ago, two Croatian engineer friends, Frane and Darko, started a modest business in the village of Kalinovac near Đurđevac from their garage. More specifically, they started servicing agricultural machinery.

According to a report from RTL, today they have a factory which boasts an impressive 300 employees, they're one of the largest of their type in all of Europe which produces vehicles and utility equipment, their snowplows, for example, clear snow in Russia. Not only that, but they also produced a Croatian cleaner. A very large vacuum cleaner - the very first Croatian vehicle intended for street cleaning.

Who says our garbage must be cleaned up by foreign machines? Croatia now has its first street cleaner manufactured in the small, unassuming village of Kalinovac near Đurđevac.

"The maximum speed in this operating mode is twelve kilometres per hour. There are cameras. The front camera serves to see what we're vacuuming and what garbage is underneath, and the rear camera to see where we're going," explained Miroslav, a production employee.

"It's very nice to drive it. There's no noise inside, there's a radio, air conditioning, no worries even when you work all day, and it's nice to work in it," added his colleague.

This Croatian invention caught the eye of some Norwegian partners who came to Kalinovac for another job, so they decided to buy it.

"This vehicle is interesting to us because it has a newer look and is more comfortable for the driver. It has a higher roof for the driver. When compared to the competition, they're also cheaper than the others," said Vidar Jansen, a product manager from Norway.

The company will of course offer it to various Croatian cities, but it will clean mostly European metropolises - as this company exports eighty percent of its revenue.

The starting price of the first Croatian cleaner is 80,000 euros for the basic equipment package, of course, the better the equipment, the more expensive the cleaner is.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Samobor Company ''Nord Produkt'' Opening Nord Store in Novi Zagreb

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of August, 2019, the Samobor-based company Nord produkt is set to open up its tenth retail store in the country on Monday (August the 26th) - the Nord Store at the Ambienta department store in Novi Zagreb. It will be the largest Nord store to date.

This domestic company is the largest Croatian manufacturer of faucets, one of the leading manufacturers of kitchen and bathroom furniture, and they combined their almost thirty years of experience into a far more complex product - mobile homes and villas, sold under the name Nord, which are totally unique Croatian products.

So far, Nord has produced 2,000 mobile homes spread across a range of high-end camps across the Republic of Croatia and abroad. This has seen the Samobor company take a very respectable place among the international manufacturers of these increasingly popular holiday homes, and they are by far the largest in Croatia. The brand new Novi Zagreb store aims to showcase all the possibilities Samobor's Nord has in its modern manufacturing facilities.

''Nord already has a distinctive design style that we develop along with reputable Croatian designers. Across 530 square metres, we'll show you how we can produce high quality, eye-catching Croatian furniture for kitchens and bathrooms, and we're especially proud of our taps that we produce under three brands - Schmidler, Armal and Nord. These taps have a warranty of up to ten years, making us unique on the market. We also offer toilets, showers, bathtubs, haberdashery and tiles from renowned manufacturers,'' said Anita Kuharić of Nord.

Krešimir Hazler, managing director of Samobor's Nord produkt, announced that the next step in the development of the company is to improve each division by at least one class.

"We're completing the process of regrouping within the company and the goal is to be more efficient and faster on the market. We're the largest manufacturers of faucets and have further consolidated this by purchasing the renowned Armal brand; in the production of mobile homes and villas in Croatia we are unrivaled, and now we want to achieve this in the production of kitchens,'' stated Hazler.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

FER Students' Software Company Listed Among Fastest Growing Companies

There is a lot to be said about this little country when it comes to breeding talent. From the sporting world to the development, technology, medical and innovation world, Croatia is known for providing the world with incredible minds. Two ex FER students and their remarkable business accomplisment have continued to do nothing else but prove that.

As Novac writes on the 21st of August, 2019, a software company called Repsly, co-founded by two former FER students, Marko Kovač and Marko Linke, has just been listed on Inc. 5000, the prestigious American list of the fastest growing companies.

The respected American business magazine, Inc., creates a new list each year which ranks the world's companies by comparing their revenue growth from 2015 to 2018. Repsly, the company started by two ex FER students which is often called the "Facebook for merchants," enjoyed revenue growth of 388 percent in three years, and was ranked in 1086th place, in the company of major global companies that were also ranked there, including the likes of Microsoft, Dell, Domino's Pizza, Timberland and LinkedIn.

''I think listing it in such a good position is a great recognition of the quality of work we do at Repsly and is an additional motivation for the whole team,'' said Marko Kovač, ex FER student and co-founder of Repsly, an application used by 1,100 companies in as many as eighty countries around the world, including famous retailers such as Adidas, Keune and Mid-Wisconsin Beverage (the Pepsi manufacturer).

It is used by merchants who can then track the sales of their products directly through the app itself. Repsly generates between five million and ten million US dollars in revenue each year, and employs more than fifty people in its Zagreb and Boston (USA) offices.

Kovač and Linke, who know each other from their student days at Zagreb's well known FER, left the management of the company in the hands of American citizen Matthew Brogie several years ago, with whom Novac recently had an interview. Considering the fact that they are "an American company with a subsidiary in Zagreb", Magazine Inc. listed them in this year's ranking.

''The entire Repsly team has worked hard to achieve this level of growth. We're excited to reach the next level! We have grown to more than fifty people and 1000 customers and we're ready to grow even faster as we become better at solving the problems of larger companies. We'll use our position of one of the fastest growing software companies to reach more customers and solve their problems in a more innovative way,'' concluded Repsly's American CEO, Matthew Brogie.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Croatian Company from Zadar Exports 85 Percent of Products to EU, USA...

Three Croatian engineers have launched a company called HSTec, which currently employs ninety workers and has an impressive turnover of 70 million kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 21st of August, 2019, on the "ruins" of Zadar's former SAS, a formerly globally renowned speciality machine tool factory, a brand new Croatian company under the name of HSTec was created, which has taken over some of their former glory and is now recognised worldwide for its sophisticated engines and robotics.

Namely, 22 years ago in one former SAS facility in Zadar, three Croatian engineers - Željko Goja, Mladen Šarlija and Frane Marasović, started the HSTec (High Speed ​​Technique) company, and perfected the production of high-speed motors for machine tools that handle parts in the automotive industry.

As was explained by Mladen Šarlija, the director and CEO of the aforementioned company, today, HSTec is at the top in terms of the world's production of high-speed motor spindles for the tool industry and robotics for various applications and industries, and is known for being a very stable and export-oriented company. This Croatian company exports as much as 85 percent of its products and services and is present on demanding markets across the European Union, as well as across the Arlantic ocean in the USA.

The major buyers of HSTec's automotive products come from the glass, foundry and food industries.

"Over the last few years, we've been implementing a number of projects, ranging from the construction of our production and business premises, to new product development projects with a total value of approximately 14 million kuna. Those projects, which are co-funded by EU funds, there has been employment growth and the raising of the company's income through sales, and through the expansion of production facilities and the improvement of working conditions, all the way to strengthening development capacities and, consequently, increasing the company's reputation,'' explained Šarlija.

The Croatian Agency for Small Business, Innovation and Investment (HAMAG-BICRO) has certainly proven to be one of the major sources of EU fund withdrawal, for which several projects have been applied by HSTec for open calls and programs, thus raising investments of 18.5 million kuna in total.

Through the Internationalisation of SME Businesses, Capacity Building and Investment in Equipment, Commercialization of Entrepreneurship Innovation and PoC7 programs, HAMAG-BICRO have awarded this Croatian company almost 6 million kuna in grants.

These investments have enabled them to grow their business, and as a result of increasing orders and establishing new partnerships, HSTec has increased employment, and by 2022, they plan to employ fourteen new employees in addition to the existing ninety. The company had revenues of 70 million kuna and a profit of 9.2 million kuna last year.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Opportunities with Saudi Financial Institution for Croatian Companies?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Sergej Novosel Vuckovic writes on the 20th of August, 2019, the ideas and projects of Croatian entrepreneurs and innovators, not to mention scientists, could have the chance to truly penetrate the region and the rest of the world owing to the support of no less than the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB).

Namely, this Saudi financial institution is organising a competition in innovation in the countries of Southeastern Europe, called Transformers Roadshow, designed to identify innovators, scientists and companies who can contribute their ideas to one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and connect them to those who can transfer knowledge and support, including concrete financial support, and provide them with new business options and priceless strategic advice.

Transformers Roadshow is a platform to support innovators and entrepreneurs globally, through which they can count on as much as half a billion dollars from the Innovation and Technology Fund. IsDB is the majority owner of Sarajevo-based Bosna Bank International (BBI) through which it will organise and conduct its tender in the SEE region, to which the Republic of Croatia belongs.

"The competition seeks out and supports new ideas that can help communities to build a more prosperous and healthier future. Those who are thinking of applying can do so online by September the 10th on IsDB's Engage platform," the Transformers Roadshow tender announcement said.

Ideas related to the development of a product, service or system that can address some of the global challenges facing the United Nations, such as food security, health improvement, the quality of education, clean water, affordable and clean energy, etc, are evaluated... It's important to note that the ideas submitted must be scientifically valid and be applicable to existing technologies and have the potential to increase efficiency and commercialisation.

The  top fifteen enter the finals, their presentation is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on September the 28th, 2019, as part of the SHF halal fair.

A panel of experts from across the world will award the top three ideas, ie, the project after the pitching, with as much as 3,000 US dollars each. In addition, Croatian authors - innovators, scientists and/or entrepreneurs - have a chance to represent their innovation in Senegal at the World Innovation Competition.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on Croatian entrepreneurs, Croatian products, services and innovation.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Zagreb County Companies Enjoy 61 Percent Rise in Earnings

As many as 8,589 companies with 60,182 employees have their seats in Zagreb County. Last year, they enjoyed revenues of 54 billion kuna, and profits of 1.9 billion kuna.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 13th of August, 2019, the Lidl retail chain, the PIK Vrbovec meat industry and the retailer of medical equipment, Medical Intertrade, were the largest revenue generating companies in Zagreb County last year.

Namely, according to the data taken from the Financial Agency (Fina) in 2018, according to the number of processed annual financial statements, 8,589 companies employing 60,182 workers had their seats in Zagreb County, which is a 6.3 percent increase when compared with the previous year.

Zagreb County's companies generated total revenues of 54 billion kuna last year, marking a 10.6 percent increase when compared to 2017, and net profits of slightly less than 1.9 billion kuna, marking an impressive 61.3 percent increase.

Gross investment in new fixed assets increased by 13.1 percent when compared to the previous year. Imports increased by 8.6 percent, and exports increased by 9.3 percent, with a trade deficit of 5.4 billion kuna. The average monthly net earning was 5,646 kuna, which marked a welcome increase of 4.2 percent.

In comparison with other counties across the country, Zagreb County ranks an impressive second in total ''entrepreneurial'' income and third in net income, according to the labour productivity indicator measured by the ratio of net income to the number of employees, and by the labour productivity indicator measured by the ratio of total income to the number of employees.

According to the number of employees it is in fourth place, and according to the number of companies, it takes fifth place. Velika Gorica, Samobor, Sveta Nedelja and Stupnik are among the top twenty Croatian cities and municipalities at the national level in terms of total income and net profit of companies.

Lidl Croatia (Lidl Hrvatska), with its headquarters in Velika Gorica close to the City of Zagreb, generated 5.2 billion kuna in the largest revenue, numbers which saw it take first place in terms of the generation of both profit and revenue among the companies with their headquarters in Zagreb County. Lidl is the leader in terms of profits, boasting 281 million kuna and 2,060 employees.

PIK Vrbovec, with 1,757 employees and a profit of 86 million kuna, came in second place by the number of employees and third place in terms of profit. Medical Intertrade enjoyed 1.7 billion kuna in revenue, while it remained outside of the top ten in terms of profits and number of employees.

Major players among the companies in Zagreb County include Fliba, Santa Domenica, Zubak Group, Ikea, DIV Group, Hospira, Fero-Term, HKZP, KMG, KIK, Production MK and Oso, MZLZ Land Services.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more. If it's just Zagreb and Zagreb County you're interested in, give Total Zagreb a follow or check out Zagreb in a Page for all you need to know about the capital and the surrounding areas.

Monday, 12 August 2019

Croatian Company 8Sigma Opens Doors in India, China, Australia

The Croatian company 8Sigma, which is based in Zagreb, has developed an IT solution that connects conveyor belts to ERP and thus monitors production in real time.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of August, 2019, 8Sigma, a Croatian software company from Zagreb which employs only ten people, won against seven international corporations with 10 to 150,000 employees.

The Croatian company won in a tender/competition which involved one of the strongest aluminum factories in the world and represents a joint venture of America's Alcoa, one of the largest global aluminum manufacturers that currently exists, and the Saudi manufacturer Ma'aden, whose Saudi Arabian plant is worth a massive 10 billion US dollars. This win has thus opened up a whole world of new opportunities for this successful Croatian company to expand its business to India, China and even as far away as Australia.

Vladimir Lukić, the co-founder and CEO of 8Sigma revealed that this is their second major deal, which they have concluded directly with the customer. So far, they have mostly worked through partners such as ABB, Andritz and Montelektra, but this is their most important reference. "Three years ago, we contracted a good direct deal with Impol TLM, and now this one in Saudi Arabia. Now, this latest deal has opened up an opportunity for us to get new jobs in China, India, and hopefully for the first time in Australia,'' confirmed Lukić.

He added that the Saudi plant is one of the largest integrated aluminum complexes in the whole world, spanning production from the mine right up to the final product. There is no such large industrial facility in Croatia and the country's immediate region. The plant produces 1.8 million tonnes of aluminum annually, and by comparison, it has been announced in Croatia that aluminum production will increase to 200 thousand tonnes by 2025. 8Sigma has developed an IT solution called 8Sigma MES that connects machines to ERP software, which is the central business information system.

"In this way, factory management can improve operational management, monitor inputs, production flow, and ultimately have an insight into the quality of each individual product, as it has full traceability control, all in real time," explained Lukić. He stated that the founders of 8Sigma previously worked in ABB for similar jobs as a team. They have more than 80 major projects behind them, from Japan, South Korea and China all the way to Africa, the Americas, and have worked extensively closer to home in Europe lately.

"China is still the world's number one steel producer, but for the last five years we've worked mostly in Europe, perhaps because of the higher labour costs here, because it encourages companies to invest more in modernising production," said the director of this Croatian software company. He pointed out that they quit ABB four years ago and developed their own software. Initially, as he explained, the idea was to allow the metal industry to monitor the situation on the conveyor belt, but in real time.

For example, factories like the huge one in Saudi Arabia have a conveyor belt which is more than a kilometre in length, and the automotive industry, which is its main customer, is looking for the possibility to trace each product at a similar level to that required by the food industry today.

"We have expanded to other industries, such as the brewery industry, and the next thing we expect is that customers will start looking for MES in the cloud, which we've already developed," concluded Lukić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian innovation, Croatian companies, Croatian software and doing business in Croatia.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Croatian Company Contracts 3 Million Euro Deal with Slovenian MOD

As Novac writes on the 10th of August, 2019, one of the oldest Croatian companies, Čakovec's Čateks, has contracted a deal worth up to three million euros with the Slovenian Ministry of Defence. This is a Croatian textile company that produces specialised high quality fabrics for both the medical and military industries.

''What this is, is a special NYCO Cordura fabric (nylon/cotton), which is specific owing to its exceptional strength and wear resistance,'' Davor Sabolić, director of Čateks, explained to novo.hr. The material it is made from also reduces the damage incurred by flames.

This type of fabric, he said, is increasingly recognisable across Europe, with Croatian Čateks being its largest European manufacturer of all. This is mostly explained by the fact that in addition to equipping the Slovenian army, this Croatian company also equips the armies of Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Montenegro and Kuwait, and develops projects for the army, special units and the police in the Czech Republic, Poland, Austria, the Netherlands, Estonia, Italy and for the Nordic countries.

However, this company's longest-running and strongest business cooperation is with the Ministry of Defense, and it started way back in 1991.

''If there were no such cooperation and these jobs, as well as the jobs of equipping the Croatian police, we wouldn't be able to carry out any of these jobs for the international units, since for each international tender we had to have done at least one in the same sense as before,'' said Sabolić, adding that nobody can claim to be the best if they didn't "do the job" at home, too.

Considering that this Croatian company is doing such successful business, it is logical that it is also preparing for a big investment cycle. In the next five years, Čateks will invest between 30 million kuna and 50 million kuna in the modernisation of its textile plant, and their aim is, as they themselves say, to better position themselves in the ''Defend'' program.

''That is a program in which we can offer a complete solution, from the production of combat uniforms, ie, pants, shirts and jackets, to the production of waterproof and windproof jackets, overcoats, raincoats, to various accessories made from special materials,'' explained the director.

In addition to Defend, Čateks is still developing its medical program in the segment of mattress covers with special properties.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Split's Tromont Invests 25 Million Kuna, Expands Production

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak/Privredni.hr writes on the 9th of August, 2019, Tromont, a Split-based company, has just completed the expansion of its manufacturing facility. Now that it has obtained an operating license for the new production hall, it is moving to manufacturing parts for the rail industry, more specifically components for train manufacturers.

The investment in the new 3,400-square-foot production facility, as Tromont's CEO Ivan Parčina points out, is worth approximately 25 million kuna. Last year, Tromont invested 9 million kuna into its existing manufacturing facility, built back in 2012, with 35 percent of that amount being withdrawn from European Union funds. The bulk of that investment was related to the purchase of machinery and equipment. For the new hall, however, Tromont did not have the option of withdrawing European money.

''With the new facility, we have enabled the expansion of production and the acquisition of new projects in our component production segment for the rail industry. These are components and parts that are intended for train manufacturers and are also installed in trams. We manufacture various metal parts, train air conditioning and ventilation parts, for one manufacturer we produce the roofs and the sides of the train, cable trays, secondary metal parts, load-bearing parts for trains, control cabinets, control panels, wagon body parts... We plan to hire 25 new workers before the end of the year,'' explained Ivan Parčina.

''Most of the products are intended for export, mainly to Germany and Switzerland. We produce a small part for Končar. We mainly work for Stadler, Siemens, Bombardier Transportation... We also have significant cooperation with train system manufacturers, such as Knorr-Bremse, which is one of the larger suppliers of train and locomotive manufacturers,'' Tromont's CEO continued.

In its production facility in the Čaporica business zone, opened in 2012 on an adjacent parcel, Tromont produces metal parts and electrical cabinets. 80 workers work there.

''In addition to products for the railway industry, from this facility we also market products for the needs of our core business, and part of the production is placed on the Croatian market,'' Parčina revealed.

Tromont, like other Croatian companies, is finding it increasingly difficult to find a qualified, skilled workforce, but they aren't surrendering to such issues, Parčina says, but is instead trying to attract them in different ways.

Last year, this Split-based company generated revenue of around 210 million kuna. At the moment, it employs 230 workers, 30 of whom are from abroad.

''Last year was challenging. The construction sector is recovering somewhat. We're facing various challenges such as labour shortages and rising labour costs. The Croatian Government should see wages raised,'' Parčin warned, adding that they have about a dozen workers from Nepal and the rest are from Ukraine and Croatia's immediate region.

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