Bulgarian poultry business invests to expand capacities

By Jaroslaw Adamowski

- Last updated on GMT

Gradus AD is set to modernise its facility in Bulgaria with new meat processing equipment and vehicles
Gradus AD is set to modernise its facility in Bulgaria with new meat processing equipment and vehicles
Bulgarian poultry producer and processor Gradus AD has announced its subsidiary Gradus-1 EOOD has invested some BGN1.82 million (€930,500) to acquire new meat processing, storage, vacuum packaging and other equipment, to expand and modernise its capacities. The company also acquired new vehicles and software for its facilities.

In addition to the new gear, the offshoot has also invested to “introduce new products on the market​” and “increase the revenue from the I eat and Gradus​” brands, the Bulgarian company said in a filing to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE).

In an earlier filing, Gradus said its other subsidiary, Gradus-98 AD, completed an investment this year to increase its broiler breeding capacity by constructing a new facility, identified as Centre North-3, with a total surface of some 10,368m2​. The facility has a maximum capacity of 72,360 head. The investment which “operates at full capacity”​ was carried out in Chervena Voda, in Bulgaria’s north-eastern Ruse municipality. The project was worth about BGN3.54m (€1.81m), according to data released by the Bulgarian poultry business.

Centre North-4 … located in the village of Chervena Voda, Ruse municipality, is under construction. The facility comprises seven buildings, 14 halls. It is expected to be completed by the end of 2018,”​ Gradus said in the filing.

It is noteworthy the latest investments were facilitated by the company’s initial public offering (IPO) held on 18 and 19 June 2018. Investors subscribed for a total of 45.2 million shares priced at BGN1.80 (€0.92) each, making it the largest IPO on the BSE since 2007. The two-day IPO generated a total of BGN81.36m (€41.6m) for Gradus. The company said its latest investments were in accordance with its “investment programme, included in the prospectus​”.

In addition to the stock market, Gradus is also procuring additional funds for further investments from the European Union. In late November, the company announced it had signed a contract worth some BGN1.56m (€780,000) with its subsidiary, Gradus-1 EOOD, “under sub-measure 4.2 ‘Investments in processing/marketing of agricultural products’ of the Rural Development Programme for the period 2014-2020, co-financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development​”.

Gradus operates a meat processing plant in Stara Zagora, in the country’s southern region, where it is headquartered. The meat business also owns a feed mill, hatcheries, broiler farms and a slaughterhouse.

The company’s product portfolio consists of fillets, legs, wings, drumsticks, livers, meatballs, nuggets, sausages, and pâtés, among others.

Set up in 1992, Gradus was established by local businessmen Ivan and Luka Angelov. The two brothers remain the company’s majority shareholders, with an aggregate stake of 81.44%, according to data from Gradus. The poultry business says its facilities are HACCP-, QS- and ISO-certified.

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