Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Arena Hospitality Group Investing in Most Popular Hotel in Ex-Yugoslavia

As Barbara Ban/Novac writes on the 27th of January, 2020, Pula's Arena Hospitality Group hotelier from is investing as much as 363 million kuna in its portfolio in southern Istria this year.

The largest investment, of about 245 million kuna, is the one in Pula's Hotel Brioni on Verudela, which has been expected for many years, and will last two years, then they'll invest in a nearby apartment complex called Arena Verudela Beach and the Medulin campsite Arena Grand Kažela.

The complete renovation and repositioning of the popular Brioni Hotel began this year. The opening of the newly renovated hotel is planned for the summer season of 2021, and the facility will be closed throughout this year. The hotel was built back in the early 1970s and was one of the most popular in the former Yugoslavia. Many celebrities of the time stayed there. The seven-storey hotel will remodel its rooms and other facilities such as meeting and conference rooms. It will also boast an indoor pool, a wellness centre with saunas and relaxation rooms, a fitness centre and an outdoor infinity pool with its own sunbathing area.

After the complete renovation, it will be a contemporary luxury hotel with 227 rooms and suites and the ambition to become the mainstay of the Arena Hospitality Group's hotel business, a statement from the company said.

Several restaurants and bars at the hotel will offer their guests a varied gastronomic offer ranging from local, Mediterranean cuisine to international specialities from around the world. After the investment, the hotel will be branded a world-renowned high quality hotel brand, the Arena Hospitality Group added.

Not far from the Brioni Hotel in the Verudela area, the renovation of the Arena Verudela Beach apartment complex, worth a massive 68 million kuna, will continue. Last year, ten accommodation units were renovated, and this year, the remaining 146 apartment units are to be renovated too.

''These modernly furnished and fully equipped apartments for four to six people will be categorised with four stars. In addition to the accommodation units, the Lighthouse restaurant, located on the beach in front of the resort itself, will be completely renovated, and thus the quality of the entire tourist product will be. A complete renovation of the Yacht restaurant underneath the Park Plaza Histria Hotel is underway, in which public spaces and rooms are being renovated,'' the Arena Hospitality Group from Pula said.

This year, they will also invest 50 million kuna into the Medulin camp Kažela, with a total of 150 million kuna already invested in this area last year. This is the second phase of the investment which will turn it into a modern and high-quality four-star category camping facility.

This year's works include the further replacement of mobile homes and the installation of 45 new luxury camping homes. For owners of modern campers, luxury, spacious lots will be adapted to the best, "premium" positions by the sea. These are large parcels of land larger than 150 square metres, offering complete infrastructure - electricity, water and drainage. As part of the investment, all the sanitary facilities intended for guests of the camping pitches will be renovated, which will increase its competitiveness among other campsites, the company said.

In addition, the restaurant, bar and sports centre with the proper horticultural landscaping of public areas will be completely renovated. Throughout the camp, guests will have high-speed wireless Internet access and IPTV services (TV channels through new OTT technology) via smart TVs in camping homes.

It's worth noting that last year, the Arena Hospitality Group invested more than 250 million kuna in its tourism portfolio. With this year's investments, the Arena Hospitality Group will almost completely rebuild its facilities at Verudela and bring them up to an impressive four-star level.

Make sure to follow our business page for more on investment in Croatian tourism and beyond.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

60 Million Kuna: Massive Investment for Crikvenica Continues

As Morski writes on the 12th of January, 2020, the governing board of the Crikvenica County Port Authority has adopted the port authority's work and development plan and programme for 2020, and this year the largest investment cycle in its history, which will realise projects worth 60 million kuna, is set to continue. This investment for Crikvenica will involve several projects and phases.

Namely, the annual program of work and development of the ports under the care of the County Port Authority for 2020 envisages the continuation of investments for Crikvenica in the upgrading of the port opened for public traffic, which is considered to be important at the county level. The project has secured nearly 33 million kuna in European Union (EU) grants to be invested in the construction of the secondary breakwater and the extension of Mala palada.

''The fact that this project was the second in Croatia and the first in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County among the projects financed by the Competitiveness and Cohesion operational programme emphasises its importance,'' stated Mario Kružić for Novi list, noting that in addition to the realisation of the main bulk of the works, we can also expect the installation of a hydrant network and horticultural landscaping and much more during the first half of 2020.

In addition, as part of this massive investment for Crikvenica, part of the coastal wall in the port of Selce will be reconstructed.

At the end of 2019, a valid building permit was finally obtained for the project of upgrading the port open to public traffic (Podvorska), and the plan is currently to secure more funds through tenders from the competent ministry and from Primorje-Gorski Kotar County for the realisation of this project.

This project foresees the demolition of the existing middle pier, with the exception of the very top of the pier, and the construction of a brand new pier at approximately the same position, followed by the construction of yet another pier. The concession plan also envisages an arrangement being reached to lead to the realisation of the project's legalisation and the upgrading of the Črni mul port, which is open to public traffic, in order to better protect the vessels in the port, and to increase the number of communal and nautical berths available.

''As a key to sustainable development, the Crikvenica County Port Authority has opted for transparent and responsible operations, which we'll continue with in the coming years,'' Mario Kružić told Novi list.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more on investments for Crikvenica.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

3.5 Billion Euro Investment on Cards for Croatian Railways

A much needed and huge investment of 3.5 billion euros is in the works for Croatian railways.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josip Bohutinski/VL writes on the 13th of January, 2020 the total length of the network of railway lines operated by HŽ Infrastruktura (HŽI) is 2617 kilometres, of which 2343 kilometres are single tracks and only 274 kilometres are double tracks.

Croatia has invested tens of billions of kuna in the construction of highways, and now the turn has come for Croatian railways. Sveti Ivan Zabno - Gredec, the first new railway in the last 52 years in Croatia, opened at the end of last year, and the 258 million kuna invested in the construction of this railway line is only one small part of the 3.5 billion euro investment cycle launched for Croatian railways, Vecernji list writes.

The total length of the network of railway lines operated by HŽ Infrastruktura (HŽI) is, as stated, 2617 kilometres, of which 2343 kilometres are single tracks and only 274 kilometres are double tracks. According to data, 980 kilometres of the network were electrified. But in the next ten years, and mainly thanks to European Union funds, this should change significantly. Thus, by 2030, Croatia should have up to 681 kilometres double-track lines and 1,022 kilometres of electrified lines.

Thus, the length of two-lane lines should increase by 361 or 407 kilometres, depending on the future route of the section of the lowland railway. HŽI explains that along the RH2 corridor, ie the Croatian part of the Mediterranean corridor, the length of two-track lines will increase by at least 145 kilometres, which includes the sections Križevci - Koprivnica - the state border, Dugo Selo - Križevci, Hrvatski Leskovac - Karlovac and Škrljevo - Rijeka - Jurdani.

For the sections Karlovac - Oštarije and Oštarije - Škrljevo, study documentation is being prepared which will define the routes. For the section Karlovac - Oštarije, the possible length of the route is 40 kilometres, and for Oštarije - Škrljevo, 67 or 113 kilometres. HŽI also says that the length of two-track sections will increase by 82 kilometres on the RH1 corridor, and that will be on the Dugo Selo - Novska section. In addition, 42.6 kilometres of single-track lines will be electrified in this investment cycle, namely the Zaprešić-Zabok (23.9 km) and Vinkovci-Vukovar (18.7 km) lines.

EU co-financing is currently underway for the reconstruction of the existing track and construction of the second track on the 36.4 kilometre long Dugo Selo - Križevci section. The project is worth 196.9 million euros. Work on the reconstruction of the existing and construction of the second track on the section Križevci - Koprivnica - state border, totalling 42.6 kilometres, should begin soon.

The decision to select a contractor for the job with an estimated value of 283.9 million euros was made, but appeals were also lodged.

A tender for the reconstruction and construction of the second track on the Hrvatski Leskovac - Karlovac section will also be announced this year. The estimated value of the works stands at 315 million euros, and this section is 44 kilometres long. For the Karlovac - Oštarije section, however, as HŽI claims, a public procurement procedure is underway to select the designer of the study documentation, as it also is for the Oštarije-Škrljevo section.

The estimated value of works for the Karlovac - Oštarije section is 400 million euros, and for the line from Oštarije to Škrljevo - 667 million euros, depending on the selected technical solution of the route. For the project of the construction of the second track, modernisation and reconstruction of the Škrljevo - Rijeka - Jurdani section, the main project is underway. The section is 27.5 kilometres long and the estimated value of the works is 270 million euros.

Financing has not yet been resolved for the sections of the lowland railway from Karlovac to Jurdani, but it is possible, according to the announcement of the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butkovic, that Croatia will receive EU funds for the construction of these sections.

Chinese companies have shown interest in building these Croatian railways under a concession model. The estimated value of the works on the Dugo Selo - Novska section is 570 million euros, which would make the entire RH1 corridor two-lane. The design speeds for these new lines are 160 kilometres per hour. There will be new trains on the new tracks.

HŽ Passenger Transport has so far contracted the purchase of 28 new trains with a maximum speed of 120 km/h. It intends to finance the acquisition of 21 trains with 1.1 billion kuna in grants and the remaining 19 with a loan from the World Bank and Eurofima.

Other major projects include the Zaprešić-Zabok railway (the value of the modernisation and electrification project is 80.8 million euros), the Vinkovci-Vukovar railway, the Rijeka port (a project worth almost 36 million euros) and the Rijeka railway station where work is already underway.

Make sure to follow our dedicated travel page for more on Croatian railways.

Friday, 3 January 2020

Zhongya Real Estate Isn't Giving Up on Investment in Kumrovec

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of January, 2020, the company Zhongya Real Estate (Nekretnine) which still hasn't paid the remaining amount for the purchase of the controversial former Political School building in Josip Broz Tito's hometown of Kumrovec, announced on Thursday that they had not abandoned the investment in Kumrovec.

Zhongya Real Estate said that investor partner Jiang Yu failed to allocate money to the Republic of Croatia for technical reasons within the aforementioned period. However, they say that modalities are still being found in order have the aforementioned money arrive in Croatia as soon as possible. Accordingly, they are ready for new talks with the government, and have stated that, should a new tender be announced, they will of course respond to it.

"The Chinese Government has been actively working for months to control the export of capital from the country. Part of these problems have reached Europe as well as Croatia itself in the case of a transaction related to the former Political School in Kumrovec. We're witnessing that Chinese investments in Europe are significantly falling, and part of the reason for this is certainly the restrictions that come from officials in Beijing,'' Zhongya Real Estate explained in a statement.

"Economic problems inside China and the China-US trade war are the main reasons China is trying to control the ''export'' of money from out of the country. The State Administration for Foreign Currency Relations (SAFE), a key government regulator, announced in mid-December that the task for the next year is to prevent ''abnormal'' capital outflows and thus prevent illegal trading activities,'' Zhongya Real Estate also stated.

Zhongya Real Estate noted that "they proved their seriousness by paying the full tax amount for the purchase of the real estate (which they have not yet managed to purchase) and the surrounding land of almost 27,000 square metres. In total, both transactions are worth over one and a half million kuna, adding in the amount from the tender last spring, we reach the figure of over two million kuna which has already been paid by Chinese investors. Therefore, they say, they don't want to give up on their planned business idea.

The statement from the company, signed by director Mario Rendulić, also said that "the Ministry of State Property announced that the decision on the fate of the Zagorje Hotel has yet to be made by the government."

“Zhongya Real Estate d.o.o. had not paid the rest of the funds for the purchase of the Zagorje Hotel or the political school in Kumrovec by the 31st of December, 2019. The Ministry of State Property will keep the amount of 598,000.00 kuna. Given that the estimated value of the said property is more than 7.5 million kuna, the decision on further disposal of the real estate will be made by the Government of the Republic of Croatia at one of the next sessions,'' the Ministry of State Property announced.

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

Saturday, 21 December 2019

Top Croatian IT Industries Invest 225,000 Euros in STEMI

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Tomislav Pili writes on the 19th of December, 2019, Ante Mandić from Insig2, Damir Sabol from Photomath, and Ivan Mrvoš, founder of Include - are the most famous names from the Croatian technology community who decided to invest in STEMI educational and technological startups. The Zagreb-Rijeka based company presented its campaign on the Funderbeam SEE platform back on November the 28th, 2019.

The campaign aims to raise a minimum of 300,000 euros that STEMI will invest in growing and scaling its new school-based subscription business model and accessing a part of the global market where more than 3.5 million schools are interested in developing their students' STEAM skills and knowledge. The campaign is still ongoing and investors in STEMI have already indicated an amount of 225,000 euros, as Funderbeam SEE announced on Thursday.

In addition to the investors already mentioned, Vedran Brničević from Suprabit, Luka Abrus and Viktor Marohnić from Five, Hrvoje Pušelj from Dataciph and Tajana Barančić and Mihovil Barančić from Astra Business Engineering decided to participate in this campaign. Tomislav Car from Infinum, Luka Sučić from Eternity, Davor Runje from Airt, Bozidar Pavlović from Oradian, Damjan Miklić from RoMb Technologies, Scott Coleman and Goran Deak from TDA, and Hrvoje Bujas from Crno Jaje also decided to invest.

''We currently have over 150 investors from about twenty countries, and most of them are looking forward to the support of the local tech community, which shows that success is not lost if we stick together. Our programmes need help to reach the global market and people have recognised that,'' said Marin Trošelj, CEO of STEMI.

Include's Ivan Mrvoš said he met a team from STEMI a year ago and has been following their successes ever since.

"The fact that they have already penetrated into nine markets, including the US market, certainly encouraged me to join their investment cycle as a small investor," Mrvoš said.

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

Saturday, 14 December 2019

INA Finally Going Ahead With 4 Billion Kuna Investment in Rijeka Refinery

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 13th of December, 2019, according to INA, the decision on a heavy-waste treatment facility comes one year after the announcement of INA's R&M New Direction 2023 program, which aims to transform INA's refining system to generate profits instead of losses.

Today, INA made a decision to invest a massive four billion kuna in a heavy waste treatment plant at the Rijeka Oil Refinery. As was explained during an extraordinary press conference in Zagreb, the company's supervisory board gave its prior approval for the construction of the Heavy Duty Processing Facility in Rijeka, and INA's management board then made a unanimous decision on the investment. Works on the new plant will begin early next year, they say, and it is expected to start operating at some point in 2023.

Sándor Fasimon, CEO of INA, said the decision on the heavy-duty processing plant marks an important step in the implementation of the R&M New Direction 2023 program, as well as an important moment in the company's history as it is the largest investment INA has made in decades.

"With this decision, the Rijeka Oil Refinery will be transformed into a modern European refinery while ensuring that INA maintains a leading position on the market. It's a major investment that will significantly affect the company's operations in the future," said Fasimon.

The chief executive officer of the MOL Group and the deputy chairman of INA's supervisory board commented that this decision confirms the MOL Group's commitment to INA. "By constructing a heavy waste treatment plant, we'll significantly increase the complexity and efficiency of the Rijeka refinery. I firmly believe that this investment will have a significant positive impact on the company's profitability in the future,'' said Molnar.

Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Environment and Energy, said that the announcement of about four billion kuna in investment over the next three years is the most wonderful Christmas gift to Croatia that could be expected.

''Today's decision to launch the modernisation project of the Rijeka Oil Refinery is a major step forward. This is one of the biggest investments in our energy sector and I'm glad that it was realised precisely during the term of this current government. This investment will improve the product structure of Rijeka, increase profitability and improve the company's competitiveness in the field of environmental protection by significantly reducing CO2 and other harmful gases,'' stated Minister Ćorić.

A year ago, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković promised us a "Christmas present" in the form of an announcement that Croatia would go ahead with the purchase of MOL's stake in INA.

According to INA, and as previously mentioned, the decision on this treatment facility comes one year after the announcement of the R&M New Direction 2023 program. The program includes the concentration of crude oil processing activities in the Republic of Croatia at the Rijeka Oil Refinery and, as part of this, the conversion of the Sisak Oil Refinery into an industrial centre that will cover the production of bitumen, which was approved in March this year and is set to launch in 2021.

Still to come is a logistics hub and, potentially, lubricant production and even a bio-component refinery. With the implementation of all activities covered by the INA R&M New Direction 2023 program, after 2023, INA expects an average annual EBITDA growth of over 1 billion kuna in total.

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

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Chinese Investor Pays More Than Million Kuna for Land in Kumrovec

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of December, 2019, the company Zhongya Real Estate (Nekretnine), whose Chinese co-owner is Jiang Yu, paid a massive 1.14 million kuna for some construction land covering nearly 27,000 square metres in Kumrovec.

The construction land the Chinese investor has now paid in full for is Josip Broz Tito's hometown, is in the immediate vicinity of the controversial former political school, more specifically hotel Zagorje, located in Krapina-Zagorje County in the northern part of the country, close to the Sutla river and the Croatian-Slovenian border.

This payment regards a plot of land for which Zhongya Real Estate signed a contract with the Ministry of State Property back at the end of October this year, and paying the price for the land was one of the Chinese's arguments in the sense that the aforementioned company would also fulfill its obligations to take over the former political school, for which they had already requested a delay in payments twice previously.

As we reported last month, the Croatian Government approved Yu's latest request for a payment deadline extension and the new payment date was the 31st of December, 2019. Had the investor failed to pay for the land in Kumrovec by the aforementioned date, the hefty advance payment would have been kept by the government regardless of the investor's next move. 

The land in Kumrovec has now been paid for in full, meaning that the obligation to pay and the deadline were both fulfilled and met by the Chinese investor.

The eventually agreed price investor Jiang Yu needed to pay stood at an enormous 14.09 million euros, according to a report from Vecernji list.

As mentioned, Yu asked for an extension of the payment deadline, explaining that the current tensions in Hong Kong made it difficult to transfer money abroad.

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

Monday, 9 December 2019

First Croatian Novotel Will Be in Resnik, Polyclinic Coming in 2nd Phase?

As Novac/Dora Koretic writes on the 8th of December, 2019, it will happen a little later than was initially announced last year, but the City of Zagreb and Croatia will get their first Novotel hotel at the beginning of 2021, just before spring, which should "sprout" in the eastern part of the capital city, more precisely in Resnik.

The investment, which was first introduced to the public back in October 2018, now finally has its first visuals, a conceptual design that Jutarnji list exclusively received from the investor of the project, the company Rox d.o.o, whose founder and owner is entrepreneur Ivo Kristić.

Judging by the visuals, the first Novotel in Croatia will be located right next to the Rox headquarters in Resnik, on the plot of land owned by that company, at the eastern entrance to the city, right next to Slavonska Avenija.

According to the description of the architects themselves, the facility will consist of a multifunctional ground floor building and a smaller tower that will house hotel rooms, and the centre of the ground floor should be a central green part, a kind of piazza, or space that will serve for the daily needs of guests who will hang out, have business meetings or rest there.

In addition, the idea of ​​the architects and investors was to build a hotel in the east of the city, which would also be visually attractive from a distance, especially considering the fact that it was planned along an extremely busy road.

What is also interesting is the solution of the façade of the construction itself: it consists of horizontal lines that round off the corners or act as if they "hug the building", and due to the numerous decorative elements they create special optical effects that should visually enrich that part of the city.

The intention is also to make the guests at Novotel feel at home, which is why the interior design will be based on natural materials and colours, especially when it comes to the decoration of the rooms.

"Our idea was to build a four-star hotel for business guests, which we found to be chronically missing from the Zagreb market. We haven't timed the investment with the Croatian presidency of the EU Council, since the construction of a hotel is an extremely demanding job, but we believe that the hotel capacities in Zagreb are lacking independently of the EU presidency and that we'll be able to offer quality content to the market,'' the hotel project manager, Matej Krištić, told Jutarnji list.

Zagreb's first Novotel will be mainly intended for business guests, given the number of stars it boasts, but Krištić says that no other types of guests are excluded here, in accordance with the wishes and needs of the hotel manager with whom Rox, as an investor, entered into a separate contract.

The investors are confident that they'll be able see a return on the value of the investment within a nine-year period, and also revealed that the construction of Novotel is only in its first phase, and given that, depending on the indicators and the operation of the future hotel, they will be interested to continue expanding their business in this segment.

All of this was shown to them in extensive research, for which they had hired a separate agency, which provided information on that location in Resnik. A possibility for the second phase of investment in a service centre and a health clinic (polyclinic), as well as additional facilities into which Rox would invest, but leave the running of the businesses to other interested partners.

"We had quite a lot of land at that location, so we thought long and hard about what purpose to use it for. The research showed us that it'd be profitable to invest in the hotel business, and in this segment we're interested in further expansion, not only in the Zagreb area, but also in other commercially interesting locations. As we have contracted for this hotel with Accor, which is a really respectable company in the hotel business, we're interested in continuing to cooperate with them, since the company has a lot of well-respected and successful brands,'' said Krištić, citing Ibis, Sofitel and many others.

Accor Hotels is truly among the world's leading tourism groups with more than 4,500 hotels and forty brands under its belt, the most famous of which are Ibis (one of the world's most famous three-star hotel chains), Novotel, Mercure, Sofitel, Fairmont, Rixos and many others.

Croatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik, where the Rixos Libertas Resort was opened in 2009, was the ninth Rixos Hotel in the world.

In addition to Novotel, however, Croatian tourism was also glad to receive the announcement last year of an investment in the first Ibis hotel in Croatia, namely the Ibis styles hotel in Rijeka, which is a strategic partner of Accor, or the Orbis hotel group, working in partnership with Rijeka Property. According to the announcements, the first Croatian Ibis' door's should open for its guests in 2021, and the plan is to build a 15,000 square metre hotel.

It will have 150 rooms, including 18 family rooms, a bar, a restaurant, four conference rooms and meeting rooms, a wellness area and parking for guests and visitors of the hotel. The investment, which would employ 45 people from Rijeka, amounts to 18.5 million euros, and the new hotel capacity in Rijeka will emerge just twenty minutes away from the popular Korzo.

Unlike the Rijeka investment, which is well known for its value, Novotel's investors don't want to reveal the price tags associated with the project at this point in time.

According to the information Novac received, the architectural design of the hotel was entrusted to the Chapman Taylor International Architectural Office, which is recognised worldwide for its work on the Port Bak Business Tower in Azerbaijan, the modular Holiday Inn Hotel in Manchester, a Shanghai retail shopping centere for which they were awarded, as well as on projects they're about to work on, which include a futuristic eco resort in Vietnam with six hotels and 500 villas, or a smart hotel in China at over 63,000 square meters.

This office in particular has worked on over two thousand projects so far and received 250 awards for them, and it's interesting to note that one of their first projects, given that the office has existed for decades, was the New Scotland Yard building, designed back in 1959.

This will be the first ''trip into tourism'' for the Rox company since the company primarily operates in the wholesale and distribution segment of consumer goods, and operates on the markets of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Slovenia.

At the regional level, Rox employs a total of 200 employees, and according to Business Croatia, in 2018 it generated revenues of just over 107 million kuna and employed around 100 employees in Croatia.

In addition to the distribution of its own and foreign brands, Rox also owns several petrol stations (two in Croatia and three in neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina) that operate through a partnership with INA.

Despite frequent complaints by investors about the complexity of the bureaucracy and lengthy procedures in Croatia, this company's ''trip into tourism'' has so far gone smoothly, and if everything goes to plan, in 2021 the eastern part of Zagreb should finally receive a more respectable hotel complex.

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

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Medjimurjeplet Seeks Stronger Export Position With Significant Investments

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of December, 2019, although the Čakovec-based company Medjimurjeplet has built its brand and business on the production of quality furniture for outdoor spaces based on wood and metal, in recent years, an increasing part of their business has been the production of parquet, windows and doors.

So far, these assortments have in principle been separated through various presentation and sales channels, but today they have been integrated through their concept stores in Zagreb and in Munich. Just last week, an exhibition and sales centre was opened in Zagreb, which houses almost the entire collection of their companies - Međimurjeplet, Pana and Pana Windows.

Although the companies have not been formally consolidated as a group, it is a business “empire” created by Alojzije Sobočanac, which is increasingly being taken over by his daughters Nikolina Babić and Ana Marija Sobočanec Dalić.

“Our entire range is based on the concept of ''living with nature'', ie, high quality and natural materials, various combinations of wood and aluminum, while we have no PVC in our offer. Investments in the modernisation of the window and door factory, Pana Windows in Čakovec, and the new Pana multilayer factory in Turopolje, will greatly increase our capacity and competitiveness on foreign markets,'' says Ana Marija Sobočanec Dalić.

She added that 90 percent of their parquet flooring is currently exported, as are 50 percent of their windows and doors, while in the case of furniture, that figure stands at around 20 percent. In the coming period, they plan to put even more emphasis on exports, especially in the area of ​​doors and windows, which is why they have set up a company in Germany. Medjimurjeplet's most important export markets are those of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and in the furniture segment, they also have significant cooperation with Italy, from which they import a part of their non-production range.

In the past year, they have invested 13 million kuna in the modernisation of Pana Windows, while a joint investment with Austria's Weitzer Parkett in the new Pana factory near Velika Gorica stands at more than 70 million kuna (10 million euros). Each partner secured half the amount, and the factory should start operating as of January the 1st, 2020. Although Medjimurjeplet was the base from which the expansion to take over Pana started some 20 years ago, today the furniture factory is actually the smallest member of this business family.

Namely, Medjimurjeplet has around 30 employees and 27 million kuna in revenue, while the Pana parquet factory already generates 70 million kuna with 160 workers, which will be further increased by a new factory and around 50 new employees. Pana Windows, on the other hand, has 55 employees and 20 million kuna in revenue, which will certainly be enhanced by modernising the factory and boosting exports. Here in Croatia, the company mostly cooperates with architectural offices and construction companies, although they also have more and more inquiries and orders from private individuals.

''We're most represented in the projects of high-end hotels, restaurants and residential and commercial buildings. One of our significant partners is VMD, which has used us for all its projects, and one of them is their Blok Bužanova on the ground floor in which we've set up our Concept store in Zagreb,'' pointed out Ana Marija Sobočanec Dalić.

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

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Investment in Croatia: 22 Million Kuna Cash Injection for Umag

Investment in Croatia is often a set of words that makes people shudder. This country, while in desperate need of investment, be it foreign or otherwise, likes to put up as many draconian, outdated barriers as possible, often resulting in putting off would-be investors entirely. But it isn't all so bleak, and as usual, Istria is a shining example.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of November, 2019, within the project "Umag - City of Children 2010-2020" The Istrian city of Umag has continued to invest in education and to ensure the best educational conditions and standards for its residents.

At yesterday's press conference, the Mayor of the City of Umag, Vili Bassanese, his deputies and others from the city's administration, as well as representatives from the local school on which the project is focused, and the project's contractor, presented the project.

"The energetic renovation of the building of Osnovna škola Marije i Line was officially presented to the public at Školska 14, City of Umag ", with a total value of almost 22 million kuna, according to a report from local portal Glas Istre.

This project was submitted to the tender of the Ministry of Construction and Physical Planning from the Operational Program of Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020. The project is financed by the European Regional Development Fund with 7,147,248.16 kuna in grants, 8,815,698 kuna in grants from the fund for co-financing EU projects at the regional and local level of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, as well as 5,879,832 kuna from the budget City of Umag itself.

The main objective of the project is to save 61.45 percent of the school's heating energy on an annual basis when compared to the annual consumption before the energy renovation, which will be achieved by increasing the thermal protection of the roof and the exterior walls, installing new high-efficiency heating system and more.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more on investment in Croatia.

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