Hungarian pasta maker Gyermelyi on Thursday laid the cornerstone of an almost HUF 2 billion mill at its base in Gyermely, near the capital.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán put Gyermelyi among the country's sources of pride, speaking at the ceremony.
Gyermelyi will be able to mill its own durum flour when the new mill is completed. At present, the company imports the flour.
Gyermelyi turned out 100,000 tons of product last year, reaching peak capacity, said chairman Béla Tóth.
The company will spend almost HUF 1.5 billion on investments this year in addition to the construction of the new mill, building a new egg farm, an egg-sorting facility and a packaging materials warehouse.
Gyermelyi, established more than 40 years ago, controls almost one-third of Hungary's pasta market, making it market leader. It buys 100,000 tons of wheat a year from about 200 suppliers, but it makes its own seeds in cooperation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The company produces 23,000 tons of pasta year, selling 90% in Hungary. It employs 431 people.
Gyemelyi had consolidated after-tax profit of HUF 2 billion on revenue of HUF 18.6 billion in 2011, up from profit of HUF 1.4 billion and revenue of HUF 15.9 billion in 2010.