Hungarian condiments maker Univer Product, based in Kecskemét in central Hungary, has inaugurated a 4.3 billion-forint (14 million euro) tomato processing plant, the biggest of its kind in central Europe.
Speaking at the plant’s opening ceremony, Hungary’s Economy Minister Mihály Varga said that the government had awarded Univer (the maker of famed Hungarian hot-pepper condiment Erős Pista, or ‘Strong Stephen’) a 2.1 billion-forint (6.9 million euro) grant for the project. This came about as part of a government support program launched in 2015 for large companies that are not eligible for EU funding, in order to upgrade their technology, increase their production capacity, and create workplaces.
Klaudia Szemereyné Pataki, Mayor of Kecskemét (left), iwith Economy Minister Mihály Varga (center) and Univer CEO Károly Molitórisz (right), at the opening of Univer’s new tomato-processing plant (Photo: MTI – János Mészáros)
The investment has doubled the company’s tomato processing capacity to 140,000 tons a year and created 40 jobs, CEO Károly Molitórisz said. Univer Product exports to Poland, Serbia, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.
The company projects that revenue will increase by more than 17 billion forints (55.9 million euros) over the next eight years. In addition, tomato paste will increase its share of the company’s total output from 7% to 19%, while the percentage of Univer’s products that will be exported is predicted to rise from 15% to 28%.
Established in 1948 as the Kecskeméti Agricultural Cooperative Society, Univer Product employs 620 people. The company had revenue of almost 21.5 billion forints (70.7 million euros) in 2016, and projects revenues of 22.6 billion forints (74.3 million euros) this year.
Via MTI, Hungary Matters, and Univer.hu
Images via MTI