Russian processing giant Cherkizovo Group has extended its ham and deli operations in Russia’s Kaliningrad region.
The company has opened a second production line for processed meat products at its Pravdinsk plant, increasing production capacity to 1,500 tonnes per month. The investment brings the total spent on the plant, which manufactures products for the Cherkizovsky brand, to over US$15m since it was acquired by the company in 2010.
Cherkizovo Group CEO Sergey Mikhailov explained: “In addition to increasing the meat processing capacity for the group, another advantage of the project is the location of the Kaliningrad plant in the free economic zone, which enjoys Customs preferences. This contributes to the more effective implementation of products with high added value in Russia. We are very proud of the truly advanced and modern company we have created.”
Nikolai Tsukanov, governor of the Kaliningrad region, added: “The opening of the second line at Cherkizovo Group’s plant is an important event, not only for the Pravdinsky district, but also for the whole of the Kaliningrad region. Agriculture is one of the State Government’s priorities and the regional and municipal authorities will do everything possible to ensure that the project develops.”
The latest investment comes despite a 13% drop in Cherkizovo’s meat processing sales in the first nine months of 2012, which the company put down to “the closure of an inefficient slaughtering facility in southern Russia and a change in the product mix towards higher-margin processed products”.
Cherkizovo’s pork sales have remained robust, growing 7% compared to the same period last year, while poultry sales increased significantly in the first nine months of the year, up 27% on the same period in 2011. The company said the strong poultry performance reflected organic volumes added to its Penza and Bryansk operations and sales from Mosselprom, which it acquired in May last year and has now fully integrated into its poultry operations.