Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Investment in Tourism: After Zagreb, Hilton Looks to Coast

After finding its place in the country's capital, Hilton is looking for further potential locations and opportunities along the Croatian coast for its Canopy hotels as Cappelli cites an investment in tourism for 2019.

As we reported yesterday, in a huge investment in tourism, Canopy by Hilton has found its way to the Croatian capital of Zagreb, but the search for possible hotel locations isn't over for the highly respected hotel company yet. 

As Marija Crnjak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 12th of November, 2018, the brand nurtures local culture, and this is Canopy by Hilton's very first hotel in continental Europe. After the opening in Zagreb, such hotels in desirable European capitals are set to open, including London, Madrid, and Paris.

Hotel Canopy by Hilton, a massive eight million euros worth of investment by Hrvoje Pezić's Zagreb City Hotels company, was opened on Monday in Zagreb's Branimir Centre.

The lifestyle brand is, as stated, set to take numerous other European cities. It nurtures local culture, and domestic designers, including Studio Franić and Šekoranja, as well as Croatian furniture manufacturers, who are engaged in decorating the Zagreb hotel, as pointed out from Hilton.

In the hotel itself, you can find various pieces of Zagreb's long history, from folklore to its rich scientific and industrial heritage, as well as some of the capital city's typical traditional dishes presented in a new, modern way at the ReUnion restaurant.

The hotel boasts 151 rooms, a restaurant and bar, a fitness room, a retreat room, a transfer room and two meeting rooms.

''After DoubleTree, we're opening Canopy, and we're expecting the opening of Garden Inn next year. We're exceptionally proud of this hotel and we're happy to have had such good cooperation. Croatia is an extremely important market for Hilton. It has a wonderful coastline and we're already looking to expand there and develop our hotels there, but the City of Zagreb is also of utmost importance because it's growing, and we also want to participate in that,'' stated Alan Mantin, Managing Director of Hilton for the development in southern Europe.

Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli emphasised that this investment with the world-renowned brand will contribute to the even better positioning of Zagreb as well as Croatia as a destination which boasts a high quality offer.

Want to keep up with more news on hotel openings, investments in tourism, or just news in Zagreb? Make sure to follow our travel, lifestyle, and Total Zagreb pages for much more.

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

Monday, 12 November 2018

Could Slavonia be Transformed into Croatian Tuscany?

Could Slavonia become Croatia's very own Tuscany through the story of its local wine? Possibly, as Kutjevo has seen a massive 54 million kuna investment into its new area.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 11th of November, 2018, on Friday in Kutjevo in Slavonia, a new investment in the Galić winery worth a massive 54 million kuna was presented, the huge investment will increase the winery's capacity by as much as one-third, as they announced.

Of the 54 million kuna, 35 million kuna was invested in the building itself and another 19 million kuna into the equipment. Winery owner Josip Galić pointed out that the winery will remain a boutique winery, and will follow all the current trends, continuing to produce quality wines, rather than focus on mass production.

"Although our winery could be considered a miracle of modern technology and has equipment that even the world-renowned wineries would envy, we're just starting to build our story in Kutjevo. The ultimate goal is to develop the whole region, we want to make a Croatian Tuscany out of Slavonia, as it justifiably deserves it,'' explained Josip Galić, the owner of the winery. The CEO of Galić wine, Andrej Markulin, pointed out that this year, the winery is celebrating ten years of business and wants to intensify its production of "serious" wines in the long run.

The winery in Slavonia looks simply like brick and concrete, but attracts tourists and wine lovers from all over the world, and the attraction is intensified just by viewing the interior and getting to know the equipment that the world's best manufacturers are currently offering.

"With new technology and equipment, we have all the conditions [available to us] to achieve this goal very quickly," he pointed out. The winery began with seven hectares of vineyards and 30,000 bottles of wine. Today, there are 55 hectares, and some of the grapes are from local wine growers.

The capacity of the new winery is 630,000 bottles, which is 30 percent more than there is at the minute, and their annual production is 330,000 litres. In addition to wine production and grape growing, Galić launched chestnut and blueberry growing this year, into which there will be an additional investment of 8.5 million kuna.

Want to keep up with more news like this from Slavonia and from across the country? Make sure to follow our lifestyle and Made in Croatia pages for more.

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Economic Boost: Cash for Regional Producer with Plants in Croatia

Is an economic boost on the horizon for one leading regional producer with two manufacturing plants based here in Croatia? An extremely large cash injection might suggest exactly that.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 10th of November, 2018, Addiko European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Addiko Bank have approved the DIV Group, which is otherwise the leading regional hardware and metal solutions manufacturer, a financial package of a massive total value of 30 million euro.

The funds are intended for the further investment in the long-term development of the DIV Group, with the end goal to be an increase of overall energy efficiency, the strengthening of sustainable working capital, and the restructuring of the leading group's balance sheet.

DIV Group is the leading regional manufacturer of numerous items in the wider region, and it boasts two production plants in Croatia, a well as plants in neighbouring Serbia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Through continuous investments in modernisation, development, new technology and staff, DIV Group has become one of the strongest producers in the entire metal industry and as a well repected and well established supplier of equipment, in the eyes of both the railway program and the automotive industry, exporting about 90 percent of its production.

Addiko Bank Croatia is well known for providing an economic boost or two, part of an international financial banking group that actively supports the growth of local businesses in Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. As of 2017, Addiko Bank has been the sixth largest bank in the Republic of Croatia in terms of total assets.

The EBRD loan has been approved under the Direct Finance Framework, which is intended to finance the growth and development of local businesses. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is a leading investor in the region and has otherwise invested a huge 3.7 billion euro in Croatia, in more than 200 different projects so far.

Want to keep up with more information on the Croatian economy, doing business in Croatia and investment news? Make sure to follow our business page.

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

Friday, 9 November 2018

Zagreb Bypasses Competition, Chosen as New Centre for Swiss Company

As Sergej Novosel Vuckovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of November, 2018, Zagreb has been chosen in a group of 40 cities across Europe as the seat of the new centre for software in 40 cities of Europe, and has also entered the final six along with Sofia, Bucharest, Belgrade, Madrid, and Lisbon.

Croatian IT experts have thus had a brand new and welcome opportunity to stay in their home country created for them.

The Adcubum company from Switzerland came to Zagreb where it has just opened its Software Solutions Development Centre. The investment is worth 12 million euro over a three year period, as was explained by the director of the Croatian branch of the company, Bojan Poljičak.

"This is a Swiss greenfield investment, related to the development of a service centre for software development. These are high value added services, focused on development and exports,'' stated Poljičak, who was also once the director of Adecco Croatia. Adcubum has otherwise been in existence for twenty years, and has been active in Austria and Germany as well as at home in its parent country of Switzerland, specialising in business information technology solutions for insurance companies. There are 350 employees in total, and in Zagreb there are now seven more.

By the end of this year, there will be ten workers, and what is particularly stimulating for domestic experts is the announcement that they plan to employ 40 people each year over the next five years in order to reach a total of 200 employees in Croatia by the end of 2023.

"Profiles that are of interest to us are engineers for software development. We're very satisfied with the level of knowledge and skills of the existing candidates and at the beginning, we encountered a good level of interest. Just like it is in other countries, the main challenge will be to find, attract, and retain a sufficient number of suitable candidates, but we're positive about it and we expect that we'll be able to bring our plans to fruition,'' explained Poljičak. The main product of Adcubum, which will be done in Zagreb, is SYRIUS, a comprehensive software solution developed specifically for the business of an insurer.

"It allows them to deal with almost all of their processes within that solution and to adapt it, on the other hand, to their business specificities through the parametrisation and flexibility of the software solution," said Adcubum's Croatian affiliate director, noting that their goal in the Croatian capital is to increase additional human resources for further SYRIUS development.

"We're planning to form teams that will work on new software products in the application area called ''front end'', but also processing and analytics in the field of big data,'' Poljičak pointed out.

Just how did the Croatian capital manage to bypass the competition and be of such attraction to the Swiss company?

"They considered the prospects for the availability of IT professionals of high professionalism, foreign language knowledge, cultural similarities, and support from state institutions such as the Investment and Competitiveness Agency," Poljičak revealed.

"We want to use a very good ratio of expertise, professionalism, flexibility, and teamwork that candidates and potential employees have here in Croatia. We also want to provide our employees with work experience with colleagues and clients in Switzerland and Germany - as well as transfer part of our knowledge and our ways of working with colleagues in these countries,'' Bojan Poljičak concluded.

Adcubum's Chief Technology Officer Walter Meister and Swiss Ambassador to Croatia Emilia Georgieva were also at the opening of the Zagreb centre, pointing out that the Croatian branch was a result of the company's accelerated development due to an increased demand for services, expressing hope that this investment would strengthen Switzerland's status in the top ten foreign investors in the Republic of Croatia.

According to CNB/HNB (Croatian National Bank) data, direct Swiss investments in Croatia in 2016 amounted to a huge 6.2 million euro. In the first two quarters of this year, about 5.6 million of Swiss capital entered Croatia, and a total of about 42.4 million euro has been invested in the country since as far back as 1993.

Want to keep up with more news on business, investments and economy? Make sure to stay up to date with our business page.

 

Click here for the original article by Sergej Novosel Vuckovic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

Investment in Tourism: Cash Injection for Dubrovnik's Hotel Bellevue

Investment in tourism is a machine boasting many wheels which must keep turning and following world tourism trends on a constant basis.

Stagnation in the tourism sector has been threatening Croatia following a few record tourism years, and while many expected such a drop as more of the country's older tourism rivals recover respectively, just how can Croatian hotels keep their rooms full and their offer hot in the face of strong competition from long-time tourism kings like Spain and nearby Greece?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 6th of November, 2018, over the now rapidly approaching winter period, the well-respected Adriatic Luxury Hotels hotel group will continue its massive investment cycle and focus on properly restoring and redoing some of their highest category hotels located in one of the country's most popular tourist destinations, southern Dalmatia's Dubrovnik area.

After the luxurious ''doing up'' of two top Dubrovnik hotels, Hotel Kompas (Lapad) and Hotel Excelsior (Sveti Jakov area), Adriatic Luxury Hotels have announced that the same will be done to another of their high-end hotels, Hotel Bellevue, which closed its doors to guests on October the 31st this year, in order to prepare for the huge renovation works of the hotel's accommodation facilities and part of the hotel's interior which are due to begin during the winter.

Adriatic Luxury Hotels will invest more than 400,000 kuna per room in the upcoming complete re-doing of the top hotel's rooms and apartments, representing the first significant investment in Hotel Bellevue since its inauguration over a decade ago, back in 2006.

The Portuguese design studio Tereza Prego is heavily engaged in the project, specialising in the interior design of exclusive hotels and other high-end residences.

As things currently stand, it seems that the redesigned Hotel Bellevue will be ready by the spring of 2019.

Click here to see just how the hotel will look upon opening its doors early next year.

Want to keep up to date with Croatia's investment in tourism and see if any hotels in an area you're planning to stay in are about to undergo makeovers? Make sure to follow our business page.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Doing Business in Croatia: Sun and Sea Aren't Enough to Attract Investors

Doing business in Croatia is always a hot topic, especially when it comes to listing the long list of negative experiences people have endured and hoops they have had to jump through in order to get a basic task done. While this isn't always the case, it's certainly the rule more than it is the exception, but just when will Croatia learn that the ease of doing business is far more likely to attract potential investors than natural beauty is?

As Ana Blaskovic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 1st of November, 2018, not much has come from the grandiose announcements made by Andrej Plenković earlier this year that 2018 will be the year of reforms for Croatia. 

Many people will simply make such a statement for the sake of making it, to keep up the tradition of disliking politicians and the political system, or simply as a protest against the current prime minister, but despite all of the above, this isn't a malignant interpretation, but a concerning one stated on the Doing Business World Bank scale. Croatia held 51st place last year when it came to the ease of doing business, but in 2018, Croatia returned to 58th place among 190 countries across the world.

The year of reforms indeed.

Discussions about methodology and criteria when it comes to doing business in Croatia can of course be debated and argued over, but they are the same for everyone and whatever conclusion one may arrive to, ultimately, nothing can change the fact that the number on the aforementioned scale is an unfavouravle one, and such scales are a very important tool when it comes to investors deciding whether or not to bring their capital, their skills and know-how, and open jobs here in Croatia, or simply to go somewhere else. The average start-up time for doing business in Croatia is a rather uninspiring 22.5 days, in neighbouring Serbia it is typically 5.5 days, and in Slovenia, it usually takes 8 days.

These figures perfectly illustrate the two areas that remain ''cancerous'' to the system and hinder any progress - the judiciary and of course, the public administration. Although a company's name can be electronically registered at a commercial court, that same court needs an average of two entire weeks just to issue a piece of paper confirming it, and without them and their pieces of paper, it's impossible to open a company bank account or design and make a company stamp.

The worst of the worst in this situation appears to relate to construction licenses (159th place in the world) where instead of simplification, four new procedures have conveniently been added, so that the process lasts for an utterly ridiculpus 146 days. In a rather embarrassing comparison, Serbia is at 11th place with a 40-day shorter process.

There is a proverbial sea, no, ocean, of such examples and the naked truth is simple yet brutal: Croatia is definitely going in the right direction and is making a lot of progress, but other countries are simply doing much more.

It's now high time that the Croatian Government realised that Croatia is not above any other country, and that investments don't come knocking at the door because of natural beauty, warm weather and a nice beach or two, but owing to the ease of doing business, which should be any normal country's top priority.

With investors frequently having nothing but complaints, red tape taking an insane amount of time to get through and money simply being lost in the ''Bermuda Triangle'' that is Croatia, all while trying to make a stamp as if we've taken a trip back to the 20th century, the question is - when will the penny finally drop?

Want to keep up with the business, investment and economic news in Croatia? Make sure to follow our business page.

 

Click here for the original article by Ana Blaskovic for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Investing in Croatia: HEP to Put Six Billion Kuna into Croatian Power Grid

HEP's Distribution System Operator (ODS) plans for investing in Croatia include more than 60 million kuna by 2021 in Hvar alone.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 27th of October, 2018, in the period between 2018 to 2021, HEP Group will be investing in Croatia almost six billion kuna in the power grid throughout Croatia, as was recently announced in Stari Grad, Hvar.

HEP has pointed out that by investing in Croatia such a large sum, of which approximately four billion kuna will be poured into distribution and more than 1.8 billion kuna into the transmission network, HEP will create the proper preconditions for the further development of the Croatian economy, the country's tourism, and the security of the supply of both existing and future consumers throughout Croatia.

In the coastal areas and islands alone, HEP intends to invest about 1.2 billion kuna by 2021, this cash injection will directly contribute to the security of existing and future customers, have a significant impact on the development of tourism and the economy, and will also aid in the intended creation of a better quality of life and to the population survival of the country's many islands.

Of this huge amount, almost one billion kuna will be spent on the country's power grid, on renewable energy sources, and on more fueling stations for electric vehicles on the Adriatic.

HEP has emphasised that Croatian companies are very much involved in the implementation of the aforementioned large investments, and that these investments have been confirmed to be one of the most important drivers of the Croatian economy. The HEP-Operator Distribution System (HEP ODS) is planning to invest as much as 800 million kuna in the distribution network in the country's coastal areas in the period between 2019 and 2021, while over the coming decade, the plan is to invest a massive total of two billion kuna.

Investing in Croatia - and its islands

During the same period, HEP ODS plans to lay down 33 kilometres of submarine cables at a cost of about 43 million kuna, while for the period between 2022-2028, they plan to lay down 124 kilometres of submarine cables, totaling about 161 million kuna, or about 200 million kuna in the next 10 years.

An additional 339 million kuna will be invested by the Croatian Transmission System Operator (HOPS) by 2021, in exchange for high voltage submarine cables. In the Dalmatian network alone in 2018, HEP invested a massive 238 million kuna, and a total of about 500 million kuna was invested in the system of the entire coast.

HEP ODS plans to invest more than 60 million kuna into Hvar alone by 2021. These investments will include the reconstruction of TS Stari Grad, and then the reconstruction of the network on the southeastern part of the island with 15 TSs. The most significant investment of 40 million kuna will go to the construction of TS Hvar. In addition, the laying of the Podgorica submarine cable will also take place, at a value of 12 million kuna.

 Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Interested in more stories about investing in Croatia? Follow the TCN business page. 

Friday, 26 October 2018

10 Million Euro Investment Set to Bring Work to Eastern Croatia?

Is Eastern Croatia in for an economic boost thanks to a massive investment from a big company located just over the border in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Thursday, 25 October 2018

Uljanik Searches for Investors as Potential Bankruptcy Looms

Will Uljanik be saved? Minister Horvat is in negotiations with four potential investors to replace Danko Končar as a partner.

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