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Univer inaugurates giant tomato-processing plant

Hungarian condiments maker Univer Product Zrt. (based in Kecskemét, central Hungary) inaugurated a HUF 4.3 billion tomato processing plant Thursday, the biggest of its kind in Central Europe, according to reports.

Hungaryʼs government awarded the company a HUF 2.1 billion grant for the project, Minister for National Economy Mihály Varga said at the opening ceremony. State news wire MTI recalled that the government launched a support program in 2015 for big companies that are not eligible for European Union funding to upgrade technology, increase production capacity and create jobs.

The investment has doubled the companyʼs tomato processing capacity to 140,000 tonnes a year and created 40 jobs, said CEO Károly Molitorisz. The investment is also set to create some 300-350 new jobs in the agriculture sector through the firmʼs domestic suppliers, notes online news portal index.hu.

Univer exports its output to Poland, Serbia, Germany, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

Established in 1948, 100% Hungarian-owned Univer Product employs some 620 people, producing condiments, sauces, tomato concentrate, baby food, jams, fruit juices and other food products. The company had net revenues of almost HUF 21.5 bln in 2016 and projects revenues of HUF 22.6 bln this year.

Univer projects revenues to increase by more than HUF 17 bln in the next eight years, raising the share of tomato concentrate from 7% to 19% within its total output, and boosting the proportion of its exports from 15% to 28%.