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About 2.5 million new mobile phone handsets can be expected to be sold on the Hungarian market this year, 40-50% of which will be smartphones, according to the head of the mobile division of Samsung Electronics Hungary Balázs Kunos. The ratio of smart phones is set to reach 60-70% in 2012, Kunos said. Samsung controls about 40% of the Hungarian market for mobile telephones.

 

Hungarian IT company Synergon is to carry out a major restructuring involving lay-offs by the end of this year in order to focus on profitable operations; recently appointed CEO Zoltán Jutasi hopes to see savings of HUF 1 billion and profits next year. The group expects revenue exceeding HUF 20 billion this year, and fixed costs are expected to be cut by almost HUF 1 billion annually. Jutasi said the company will definitely not have losses in 2012. Synergon will try to compensate for the decline in public sector orders by expanding in the private sector and abroad.

 

Hungarian paint maker Poli-Farbe is launching a network of independent, Hungarian-owned retailers under the brand Pannon Paint Network. Poli-Farbe expects 30 stores to join the network by the spring of 2012 and 140 by the end of next year. Family-owned businesses generate about 78% of the HUF 33 billion annual worth of Hungary’s paint market. Paint stores or other specialized retailers account for 82% of Poli-Farbe’s HUF 7 billion of annual revenue.

 

Hungarian meat company Kométa 99 inaugurated a HUF 2 billion salami curing plant and a renovated slaughterhouse at its base in Kaposvár (southwest Hungary). The company had made investments of more than HUF 8 billion in the past ten years. These were supported by almost HUF 1 billion in grant money. The company’s headcount is 600, making it one of the biggest employers in Kaposvár and in Somogy County. Kométa 99 processes about 800,000 hogs a year.

 

Békési Pálinka, a distiller of pálinka, Hungary’s eau de vie, expects revenue to reach HUF 500 million this year, up from HUF 427 million in 2010, owner and managing director Zoltán Békési said. Wholesale activities generate about 40% of revenue and pálinka distillation 60%. Békési Pálinka distills about 400,000 liters of pálinka a year. The company has spent several hundred million forints on investments over the past several years, building a HUF 100 million fermentation hall and a HUF 200 million visitors’ center.

 

Discount retailer Aldi plans to open 10-15 new stores per year in Hungary, increasing the number of units to more than 110 in three years. The company built 75 stores in the past three years, investing hundreds of millions of euros. Aldi plans to open another three stores this year and projects a two-digit increase in turnover. Aldi controlled 1-2% of the Hungarian market last year. The expansion will be based on a combination of greenfield investments and acquisitions.

 

Danish pump manufacturer Grundfos is to invest HUF 2 billion to expand production capacity at its Hungarian units this year. It plans to begin serial production of new products in 2012. In addition to its two units in Tatabanya, set up in 2000 and 2002, the company established a large-capacity plant in Székesfeheérvár four years ago. The company spent HUF 4 billion on investments in 2009 and HUF 2.5 billion in 2010, expanding production capacity in Tatabánya, among other developments.

Marengo has opened a HUF 191 million SME incubator in Szeged (southern Hungary). Marengo used HUF 60 million of its own money and a HUF 131 million EU grant to transform a four-story office building into a low-rent space for recently established SMEs. Marengo aims to attract young entrepreneurs from abroad as well as from Szeged, which is close to borders with Romania and Serbia.

 

OTP Bank’s share of Hungary’s corporate lending market climbed one percentage point to 8.6% in the first half of the year. The bank is not scaling back its corporate lending activities, rather it wants to seek prospective corporate lenders with new products, both its own as well as constructions involving the state-owned Hungarian Development Bank (MFB) and Eximbank. OTP Bank signed corporate loan contracts for HUF 105 billion in H1. The bank has so far taken applications for HUF 43.5 billion from companies in the framework of the OTP Széchenyi 500 program,  the bank said.

 

Spanish private equity company GED Capital said it bought a 100% stake in Hungarian printing company Révai Nyomda from the UK’s Polestar Group. GED Capital did not reveal the price of the transaction. Révai Nyomda is the second printing company GED Capital has purchased in the region. It bought Infopress Group Romania in 2010. The two companies have combined revenue of €80 million a year and employ 500 people. Révai Nyomda is Hungary’s biggest capacity printing company. It employs 250 people at bases in Budapest and Fót, near the capital. The company had turnover of €42 million in 2010, GED Capital said.

German-owned Stefani Hungária inaugurated a more than HUF 200 million capacity expansion at its base in the Győr Industrial Park (northwest Hungary). The company won a HUF 52 million grant for the investment, managing director Alexander Fina said. Stefani Hungária expects revenue to climb 6% in 2011 over last year’s HUF 1.1 billion. The company has several major business partners, including Audi, which has a big plant in the Győr Industrial Park, as well as other members of the Volkswagen group, Lamborghini and Daimler.

 

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