“We are planning to add a facility of 9,000m2 and fit it with new production lines,” Rudolf Gubric, head of manufacturing activities at the Slovak factory, told local news agency TASR. “Currently, we employ 270 persons here, and it is our intention to increase this number to 350 employees by 2019.”
According to Marel, due to an insufficient number of qualified workforce in the region, the company will seek to organise training for its potential employees within the dual education system that combines company apprenticeships and vocational education at local high schools. This model is widely employed in Slovakia by numerous companies active in the food sector.
The investment is to be carried out by the company’s local subsidiary Marel Slovakia. The project will allow to raise the output of machinery for beef, pork, and poultry meat processors in Nitra. The amount of the planned investment was not disclosed by Marel.
The factory is located in the Nitra-Sever industrial park, in the country’s western region. Marel established its Slovak subsidiary in 2005, and initially began to produce machines at a leased facility. A year later, the firm acquired a plot of land in the industrial park.
Production activities at the plant, which is one of the company’s nine production facilities, were launched in 2008. Marel Slovakia is an offshoot of the Netherlands-based Marel Holding BV.
Revenues to increase
Set up in 1983 and based in Gardabær, Iceland, Marel said it is a leading provider of advanced food processing systems and services for the meat and fish processing industries. The company has about 4,700 employees worldwide, and offices and subsidiaries in some 30 countries. In 2015, Marel reported revenues of about €819 million, and earnings before interest (EBIT) of some €99.9m, according to data released by the firm.
The decision to raise the Slovak plant’s output capacity follows the release of Marel’s improved results for the first nine months of this year. From January-September 2016, the Icelandic company posted revenues of €733m, according to preliminary figures for the third quarter of 2016. Marel said in a statement that it “expects modest organic revenue growth and an increase in EBIT” for this year.
“We are pleased with our Q3 2016 results. The team is focused and committed and is delivering robust operational results with close to 15% EBIT year to date," said Marel chief executive Arni Oddur Thordarson. “We continue to introduce a steady stream of innovative customer solutions and to invest in the business to support future profitable growth.”
Marel said most of the company’s products were manufactured in the UK, the Netherlands, the US, Iceland, Denmark and Slovakia, while its smaller production facilities were located in Singapore and Brazil.