Hungary’s Vajda Papir installs converting line in Norway

Wed, Sep 03, 2014
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One of Hungary's leading hygienic paper producer and exporters Vajda Papír Kft has installed a EUR 4.3 million (USD 56 million) high-capacity converting line in Drammen, Norway. The capacity expansion investment has doubled the group's annual finished goods converting capacity at the Norwegian unit, enabling Vajda Papír to strengthen its presence in the Nordic market as well as its Central European market positions through a recently implemented converting capacity expansion project in Budapest. Investments this year in the Hungarian and Norwegian units will expand Vajda Papír's finished goods converting capacity by 15% to 120,000 tonnes/yr.

At the end of July, Vajda Papír Kft installed a new converting line at its Norwegian manufacturing plant it had acquired last summer. The investment will help the regional family business, owned 100% by Hungarian individuals, to continue to strengthen its market presence in the Nordic countries. The newly installed converting line, which represents state of the art tissue converting technology and is capable of producing premium products, will more than double the plant's finished goods converting capacity from the current 16-17,000 tonnes to 35,000 tonnes/yr. 

"Our investment in the Norwegian unit and the recently implemented capacity expansion project at our Hungarian manufacturing plant enable us to strengthen our market presence both in the Nordic and Central European regions and thereby to accelerate the growth of our sales and market share. Our improving competitiveness will give us better chances to compete in regional tenders. We have expanded our tissue converting capacity both in Norway and Budapest, Hungary, installing state of art technology machinery capable of producing premium products", explained Attila Vajda, CEO, founder and owner of Vajda Papír Kft.

He added: "Local capacities are inevitable to grow the company's market share as they help significantly reduce transportation costs, a major price element of the products. Production of some of the products currently produced in Hungary will be redeployed to the Norwegian manufacturing plant, but production and development of the highest quality premium products, including paper napkins and tissues will continue to take place in the Hungarian plant."

Total value of the investment implemented at the manufacturing plant in Drammen, a city located 60 km of the Norwegian capital Oslo amounted to about EUR 4.3 million, which included the building and development of the production hall and the surrounding infrastructure, the purchase price and start-up costs of the machinery, and training costs of the operators. Concurrently with this, starting from July, the paper mill, which has 100 years experience in tissue production, increased its headcount by about 20 percent, growing the number of employees to 100+.

The Nordic market is of key importance for Vajda Papír, as consumption per capita in certain product categories, such as for tissue paper kitchen towels is much higher in this region than in other countries of Europe. At the same time, environmental considerations are a key factor in Nordic consumers' purchases. As they usually look on the shop shelves for hygienic paper products that are made from recycled paper or come from responsible forestry, Vajda Papír's products made in Norway and Hungary are mostly made from such raw materials and with environmentally friendly technology.

In addition, to compete in the Nordic market, a product must have the required environmental certificate: a major one is the Nordic Ecolabel, a voluntary ecolabelling scheme that looks to reduce a product's negative impact on the environment throughout the whole life cycle. Vajda Papír's products have both Nordic Ecolabel and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certificates; the latter was established to ensure sustainable forest management worldwide.

This year marked major capacity expansion projects at Vajda Papír: in addition to the investment in the company's Norwegian operations, tissue converting capacity was also expanded at the group's Hungarian manufacturing site at Ócsai street, Budapest with the installation of two new high-capacity converting lines in June 2014, increasing the total number of the plant's converting lines to 22. The investment helped Vajda Papír expand its annual finished goods production capacity by about 10% to 80,000+ tons in Hungary. The HUF 1.8 billion project created nearly 20 new jobs at the company that currently employs 410 people at its site in Soroksár, Budapest. Enabled by these investments in the Hungarian and Norwegian operations, Vajda Papír's annual finished goods converting capacity will expand to 120,000 tons at group level in 2014.

Started as a small family business, Vajda Papír Kft., owned 100% by Hungarian individuals, has grown into a major player of the Hungarian hygienic paper industry and a regional multinational company with successful cross-border operations. Today, Vajda Papír employs 500+ people across Europe, including Hungary, Romania, Finland, Poland and Norway.

With nearly three-fourths of Hungary's total hygienic paper products exports, the company is Hungary's biggest exporter in the hygienic paper industry.

At group level, 2013 revenues of Vajda Papír were HUF 22 billion, and 2014 revenues are expected to exceed HUF 30 billion. Since its foundation, the company has invested HUF 10 billion in expansions and upgrading.

About Vajda Papír

Founded in Budapest in 1999, Vajda Papír opened its first commercial office in Romania in 2011, which was followed by the launch of representative offices in Finland and Poland in 2013. Vajda Papír currently supplies its products to 20 markets outside Hungary, and about 50 percent of the company's revenues are generated by exports. Major markets include countries of the Central & Eastern European region (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Austria, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria), Germany, Russia, as well as the Nordic and Baltic countries.

In addition to producing and selling branded products across Hungary, the company also works on private label and contract manufacturing projects, with a product portfolio covering all product segments from low-cost products to high-end brands. Currently, Vajda Papír produces 65-70 percent of Hungary's total output in the hygienic paper industry, with its products sold at all major retail chains across the country (Tesco, Auchan, Lidl, Metro, Spar, Penny-Market, CBA, Reál). The company's Ooops! brand was awarded a MagyarBrands award in 2011, and the company was recognized with a Business Superbrands award in 2014. Vajda Papír's products won the "Product of the Year Award" both in 2012 and 2013.

At group level, 2013 revenues of Vajda Papír were HUF 22 billion, and 2014 revenues are expected to exceed HUF 30 billion. Since its foundation, the company has invested HUF 10 billion in expansions and upgrading.

 
 

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