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Pick-Délhús group made Ft 3.5 bln addition, Europe's biggest salami plant

The Pick- Délhús group, Hungary's biggest meat processor, inaugurated on Wednesday a Ft 3.5 billion expansion at its salami plant in the village of Alsómocsolád, in southwest Hungary.

The expansion included a 1,600-square-metre processing plant complete with a five-storey tower. The facility, set up two years earlier, already operates with a 3,300-square-metre curing, cutting and packaging plant. The addition will boost the plant's capacity to an annual 20,000 tons, making it the biggest salami plant in Europe. Pick- Délhús owner Sándor Csányi, President and CEO of Hungary's OTP Bank, said the group had not applied for state subsidies for the investment, because the project needed to be completed in as little time as possible to meet increasing demand. They started work on the project in January, he said. Csányi said Pick- Délhús soon plans to spend Ft 1.8 billion to set up a hog farm with up to 54,000 animals. It also aims to boost its slaughterhouse capacity from an annual 700,000 to around 1 million.

The group currently slaughters 500,000 hogs a year. The group will set up a trading unit in Russia to sell its own products as well as other Hungarian products, Csányi said. Minister of Agriculture József Gráf, also participating at the ceremony to inaugurate the addition, said Hungary's stock of hogs is expected to increase from 3.9 million to 6.5 million in the coming 18-24 months. Achieving this rise will require Ft 50 billion – Ft 60 billion, but EU funding could cover some of this amount, he said. Csányi said Pick- Délhús plans to set up a trading company in Moscow to boost sales of its products on the Russian market. Pick- Délhús projects profits on revenue of Ft 65 billion this year. Csányi did not wish to reveal the profit plan. The group employs 3,000 people. (Mti-Eco)