Chocolatierʼs HUF 3.3 bln grant partly a ‘diplomatic response’

Pharma

Family-owned Árklub announced plans Wednesday to build an HUF 8.3 billion chocolate factory in Bátonyterenye (97 km northeast of Budapest). The facility will start production by the end of next year, supported with a HUF 3.3 bln grant from the government.

Levente Magyar, state secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said the new investment is important not just locally, but is a major step in rebuilding the once world-class Hungarian sweets industry.

Csaba Tóth, sales and marketing director at Árklub Kft., noted that the company was founded in 1994 as a family start-up and has been profitable every year. The company has 67 products, branded Vadász (Hunter).  Until recently, the production of Vadász chocolates has been outsourced, but with the new plant, the lack of production capacity will be solved, Tóth added. 

Vadász chocolates were previously manufactured by a factory in Budapest owned by the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Late last year, the factory suddenly terminated the contract. The HUF 3.3 bln grant is in part a "diplomatic response" to the cancellation of the contract, Magyar was cited as saying by official government website kormany.hu.

The 15,000 square-meter factory, Arklubʼs first, is expected to start operating at the end of 2019, with a staff of 150.

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