Sunday, 11 November 2018

Podravka Delivers Record Results Despite Agrokor's Problems

When Marin Pucar took over Podravka back in February last year, he comically stated, "Once you go Podravka, you're always Podravka!"

As Marina Sunjerga/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of November, 2018, Pucar experienced returning to the large domestic food company, at which he worked for twelve years, very emotionally. Pucar also has many goals and plans set up for the huge company to aim for.

Pucar's big plans for Podravka were soon realised because the Koprivnica-based food company achieved net operating profits of a massive 186 million kuna during the first nine months of 2018, which is the best result and the highest operating profit in Podravka's long history. These sparkling financial results saw employee salaries increase by 1000 kuna and the company get closer to reaching its goal of being a food business consolidator in Croatia, these praiseworthy achievements brought Pucar to his very well-deserved nomination for businessman of the year for 2018.

It is also important to point out his engagement in resolving the crisis in Agrokor from his position as the president of the association of Agrokor's suppliers, which acted uniquely to protect the interests of domestic companies.

''Podravka is a very good company'', said Pucar when he came to the head of the company, but added that it can and should be better because Podravka is much more than just its numerous brands and products.

In just a year and a half of his mandate, Marin Pucar has achieved excellent results with his team. He announced Vegeta's strong development, involving a wide range of products. In his vision and strategy, Vegeta will be branded completely with the culinary field, and all kinds of dishes.

''That's the aim, if we succeed, and we believe that we will,'' Pucar said in an interview for Večernji list.

''We'll secure Vegeta for another hundred years, and add new, additional value for Podravka,'' added Pucar.

Among the priorities, Pucar also emphasised the improvement of the rights and the material conditions of employees as the company's most valuable resource. ''Without satisfied workers, there can be no successful company,'' Pucar said. Namely, The salaries of the lowest paid employees in Podravka will increase by about 1000 kuna a month, which is one of the moves other entrepreneurs must follow if they truly want to retain quality workers.

The lowest wage in Podravka now amounts to 4,000 kuna per month. Through a collective contract, Podravka's employees have been granted a jubilee reward, and the company will pay them 1000 kuna per year for voluntary pension savings, which will eventually provide them with larger pensions when they retire. One of the goals that Pucar has set in front of him is, as stated, to position Podravka as a consolidator for the food industry, as well as the generator of the development of domestic agricultural production.

Accordingly, the company is expanding its cooperation with subcontractors and domestic OPGs to ensure that by the year 2022, its global brands such as Vegeta are secure. To achieve this goal requires a two to three year investment cycle, but the capacities needed by Podravka are sufficient to trigger a serious segment of Croatian agriculture. Part of the financing of these investments was secured by the company from EU funds.

Podravka itself has an impressive investment potential of around 200 million euro, so new acquisitions could realistically be expected. The company's presence on numerous traditional markets such as that of Poland, Hungary, and Russia, is set to increase. Pucar also played an important role in the rehabilitation of the formerly ailing Agrokor Group from the position of the president of the Association of Agrokor's suppliers.

The challenge was to protect and preserve the rights and interests of Agrokor's suppliers, while at the same time not compromise the position of Agrokor, and Agrokor's giant Konzum as the largest domestic retail chain. Unlike various other companies, Podravka didn't stop its deliveries to the then suffering Konzum, thereby confirming its responsibility for the continuation of Konzum's operations and the preservation of jobs.

The successful running of this extremely complex process resulted in the stabilisation of Agrokor's operations, a large part of the Croatian economy, and the preservation of Agrokor's supplier stability.

Otherwise, Pucar has spent most of his career in the food industry. He started his professional career at Gavrilović back in 2001, and one year later, he was in Podravka's meat industry, Danica, where he was the director of sales, marketing and development. He quickly moved to Podravka's high position of director for the Croatian market, and from 2008 to 2012, he was a member of the management of the company.

After five years with Podravka, he went to Zvečevo, which he led before returning as Podravka's main man.

Want to keep up with more news like this from Croatia? Make sure to follow our business page.


Click here for the original article by Marina Sunjerga/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Croatian Company Receives Investment from Business Angels

One Croatian company receives the nod of approval and an enviable cash injection from some of Croatia's most prominent business angels who believe in their potential for enormous success.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of November, 2018, since the very launch of the game, more than 1,600 copies have been sold, and their income, as they state from this Croatian company, is enough to cover salaries, programs and servers. Given that the game is still at an early stage, they say they didn't actually expect all that much from it initially.

Eleven members of the Croatian Business Angels Network - CRANE, provided the Jastrebarsko gaming studio Hyperion with the largest investment by number of members so far. They decided to invest in the launch of a young, three-member team who independently released a survival computer game called Journey of Life just a few months ago. During that period, the game has earned more than 250,000 kuna in revenue.

The founder of the startup is 22-year-old Adriano Žeželić, Thomas Lesniowski from Germany, and Siddhante Nangla from India, and the project was presented at the CRANE Startup, which held at the Zagreb School of Economics and Management on Wednesday. Investors have estimated the value of this Croatian company to be 500,000 euro, and the business angels who have invested will receive somewhat less than 20 percent of the newly established company, which has its seat in London.

CRANE President Davorin Štetner was first invested in the startup, followed by Hrvoje Prpić, then Aljoša Domijan, Zoran Miliš, Dennis Rukavina, Zvonimir Orešar, Denis Matijević, and Nikola Serdar.

Žeželic contacted President Davorin Štetner on the suggestion of a friend who claimed he left a positive impression on him, and after that, the young author of the game from Jastrebarsko, who is an electrical technician by profession, had the chance to present the project to others.

"I like to see when somebody is able to launch such a demanding thing without getting any help, so I think that now, with the help of the money and the advice from experienced business angels, Adriano will succeed in his ambitious plans," said Štetner.

Hrvoje Prpić, the lead investor, spoke with Roman Ribarić from Croteam on Journey of Life's potential and CRANE's decision to investigate the market before actually investing anything. From the previously released game, Croteam raised as much as 16 million euro, Prpić concluded that Hyperion's Journey of Life study could also bring great success. Prpić said that the long-term investment aim of the business angels is to encourage Hyperion to continue to release games in order to become even more significant.

"As a passionate gamer who has always been in love with computers, I started planning the 2016 project, and I started with its actual realisation in October 2017. That year, I decided to realise my dream and founded the Hyperion Studio and released the game at the beginning of May," Žeželić warmly recalled.

"We got some great support from players around the world that helped us keep the project going. We communicate daily with people who join our group and share new things with them. The support of experienced business people is of great importance and I'm looking forward to working with CRANE because I believe that with some business advice, money, and assistance in other segments, Hyperion Studio can become an international name in the gaming industry,'' stated the Croatian company's young founder.

The game is currently available only for personal computers, but mobile versions are being discussed and planned, and they will hopefully be on the market during the second half of next year.

Want to keep up with more news on Croatian companies, investment and more? Make sure to follow our business and our Made in Croatia pages.


Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Croatian Companies Establish Market Connection of 1.4 Billion People

27 Croatian companies are also part of the historic Chinese international import fair.

As Marija Brnic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of November, 2018, China will continue to open its market for foreign products and cut import tariffs, this was the main message from China's President Xia Jinping at the opening of China's first international import-export fair entitled China International Import Expo (CIIE), an event which has already been rated historic and whose opening in Shanghai was attended by the leading people of fourteen countries, including Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

More than 3,000 companies from 130 countries worldwide participate in this large gathering, and within the CIIE, the Croatian-Chinese Economic Forum will be held today, which will include 27 Croatian companies interested in entering into business cooperation with numerous Chinese partners.

Some of the companies have already established excellent market connections that include more than 1.4 billion people, such as Podravka, Badela 1862, and Pan Parket from Orahovica, which is the biggest advocate of turning Chinese customers towards the wood industry sector. Wood is also the main Croatian export product. In total, exports last year were worth a massive 126 million dollars. This year, exports to China are growing faster than they did in the previous record year, by as much as 44.5 percent.

PPS Galeković from Velika Gorica just outside of Zagreb is also representing the wood industry in Shanghai. Among the companies that want to enter the Chinese market are a significant number of smaller companies dealing with consulting, information projects and web design, such as Adricon Group, Mipesa, Provena, Gelt date, as well as a few industrialists - Meteor, a producer of detergents and chemical products from Đakovo in Slavonia, Kotka from Krapina, which specialises in the production of men's suits, and the well known Croatian special equipment producer, Lučko.

Partnership with Huawei?

Representatives of Luka (the port of) Ploče also attended the meeting, who, along with their counterparts from the port of Rijeka, which, during his speech on "Trade and Innovation", Plenković personally recommended to Asian companies operating in the European market. During the fair, the Croatian Prime Minister also had a working meeting with Huawei President for Europe, and Plenković stated that he expressed interest in intensifying cooperation and partnership with Croatia in the digital age.

In addition, the brand new Croatian Tourist Board (HTZ) office has been officially opened in Shanghai, with the aim of strengthening promotional activities on this market, from which Croatia continues to receive a growing number of visits. This year, Croatia will be visited by 250,000 Chinese tourists, which is a much higher figure than in previous years.

Want to keep up with more news about Croatian companies and the potential of closer ties with the Chinese? Make sure to follow our business page.


Click here for the original article by Marija Brnic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Croatian Products: Leading Candle Producer Exports to European Market

Croatian products are known for their high quality, and the jump from market stand to the leaders of the market is a praiseworthy one.

As Vedran Balen/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of October, 2018, as many as seven thousand pallets with more than six million lamps and candles are produced each year by this Croatian company. 

The products find themselves on both the domestic and foreign markets and originate from from the small settlement of Zadubravlje near Slavonski Brod, and the company in question, Primax, has been the leading manufacturer of these products in Croatia for a great many years.

On the eve of the All Saints' Day, the company has their hands very much full, as one can easily imagine. The company's co-owner and director Robert Pandža stated that although he doesn't know for sure whether or not his company is the first in Croatia, he knows it works extremely hard. He added that every European region has its own idea of ​​how such candles and lamps should look, and they therefore try to satisfy and adapt to the often varying needs of a large market.

The Slavonski Brod native started work in this field way back in 1994, when just he and his wife ran the business. They started out with very humble beginnings, more specifically with a small stall on the market, eventually establishing a different development phase and managing to successfully adapt these Croatian products to the often ever-changing and demanding market conditions.

They started to import cosmetics and supply perfumeries and similar types of stores, of which there were a great many in Croatia at that time. They started to work on plastic sheeting, and then continued to expand yet further upon seeing that such a move had been very well received and was doing well. After numerous business ventures, they eventually decided to focus exclusively on production.

Today, Primax does exceptionally well and has some fifty employees who work in three shifts, their own production and storage area covers a handsome ​​2,000 square metres. During the course of a quarter of a century of their existence, the company has even changed its location on seven different occasions, mainly when they were more engaged in commercial activities as opposed to production. Years of work and valuable experience made them realise that they needed some serious production capacity, and a very serious approach to such a business. Thus, five years ago, they invested 14 million kuna of their own funds in the construction and the proper equipping of a new production hall in the village of Zadubravlje. After that, the production was all set up and ready for business, quite literally.

"It's not easy to produce six million pieces. To increase production again, we'll need to invest a lot again because candles require a large storage space. In this business, the biggest percentage of sales takes place within a month or two before All Saints Day, but production is already going on in February. The rotation cycle is similar to that of agriculture,'' explained Pandža.

As they purchased land one year earlier, their application for a subsidy was denied on the grounds that they had already started investing. Namely, only those who hadn't actually invested at the time could be nominated for the tender, so they remained without support. The only incentives they received were 300,000 kuna from European funds for the introduction of new software, 250,000 kuna from the Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts for the improvement of production, and 100,000 kuna from Brod-Poavina County for the purchase of new machines.

"In Croatia, the main problem is the relationship with entrepreneurship. If we managed to get forty percent of that multi-million investment, we'd have yet another new line and a better position on the market today, and the workers would be more satisfied and they'd also be better paid. Otherwise, the general trend is a positive one and the situation is much better today than it was a few years ago.We're just not satisfied with the outcome,'' Pandža stated.

In addition to candles and lamps, they also produce PE foil from recycled or original material and packaging, and their annual turnover stands at around thirty million kuna. Their EBITDA ranges from 1.3 to 1.5 million kuna, while pure profit is about 300,000 kuna. About 35 percent of the company's production is exported to the European market, including France, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Finland, with a tendency for further growth.

Ultimately, exports should grow to more than fifty percent.

Want to keep up with what's going on in the world of business in Croatia? Follow our business page and our Made in Croatia page for news on Croatia's many successful companies, products, and entrepreneurs.


Click here for the original article by Vedran Balen/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Ante Gotovina's Company Plans to Raise Tuna Near Murter

Gotovina seeks approval.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

One Old Zagreb Company to Expand Business into EU

At its peak back in 1990, the company had 250 employees and an annual turnover of more than 250 million kuna.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Seven Croatian Companies on List of Fastest Growing in Central Europe

More Croatian companies go from strength to strength!

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Labin Company Suddenly Closes After 5 Years of Excellent Business?

The sudden move has occurred without any notice, and without any explanation whatsoever...

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Components for Almost Every Household Appliance Produced in Zagreb

EGO became the majority owner of the Elektro-kontakt company back in 1992, and today the Zagreb-based company has 830 employees and boasts an impressive 390 million kuna income.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Another Good Year for Pag Cheese!

Excellent news for Pag as its American distributor sings its praises.

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