Since January, the facility has been on a test run, enabled with a capacity of 200 to 300 head per day. László Sutka, chief executive of MCS Vágóhíd, told local news agency MTI that the slaughterhouse is expected to reach 60% capacity this March, and it will reach full capacity of 1m head per year by the end of 2017.
New jobs to be created
Currently, the slaughterhouse is operated by some 100 employees, and a further 60 workers will be recruited this month, according to the chief executive. The facility was fitted with a total surface of some 26,000 square metres.
“By the end of March, we will reach our planned total workforce of 550 employees,” Sutka said.
With its latest investment in Mohács, MCS Vágóhíd aims to increase its presence in the Hungarian meat market, but also expand its export sales. The company plans to launch sales of refrigerated and packaged meat to various markets in Asia.
Higher investments in pig sector
MCS Vágóhíd allocated about HUF5 billion (€16.2m) to purchase new machinery for the facility, including cutting and packaging machines. In total, the project is estimated to be worth about HUF21bn (€67.9m), of which some 13% of the total was provided to the meat processor by the Hungarian government as an investment grant.
Over the past few years, the Hungarian government has intensified efforts to promote pig breeding and pork consumption through various financial investments and tax cuts. Under its strategy, the number of hogs in Hungary is to double from the current 3m to 6m head by 2020. Last year’s decision to cut the value-added tax (VAT) on pork meat from 27% to 5% is also expected to increase domestic production, encouraging pig breeders and pork meat processors to invest.
Earlier this year, Hungary’s food processing group Bonafarm unveiled plans to purchase a stake in MCS Vágóhíd after its share capital was increased to about HUF65.3bn (€211.1m), enabling the conglomerate to pursue takeovers. Controlled by local banker Sándor Csányi, Bonafarm owns local pork meat processor Pick Szeged Zrt, which commands a 30% share of the Hungarian market, and exports to 35 countries worldwide. The new slaughterhouse will become a supplier to Pick Szeged, and Sutka said that MCS Vágóhíd and Bonafarm have formed a “strategic partnership”.
Establishing a close cooperation with Pick Szeged could facilitate MCS Vágóhíd’s plans to expand to new markets in Asia, as the company has a trading office in Japan, and also exports its products to the South Korean market.
Set up in December 2013, MCS Vágóhíd is controlled by local businessman György Nagy through his investment firm HO-ME 2000 Kft.