The company is also planning to launch a further two facilities this year under a project worth close to €5m.
The facility “consists of six buildings, 12 halls, each with 900 square metres of functional built-up area. The maximum capacity of the centre is 233,000 birds - broilers,” the company said in a filing to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE).
The project was worth close to BGN2.39m (€1.22m), according to data from Gradus.
Meanwhile, the company is pursuing further investments in the Bulgarian municipality. Another facility, dubbed the Centre-7, designed “for broilers with the same parameters, located in the village of Madjerito, Stara Zagora municipality, is under construction. It is expected to be completed in 2019,” the filing said.
Investments to rise this year
Gradus said its latest investments were in line with the investment programme included in the firm’s prospectus for the initial public offering (IPO), held on 18 and 19 June 2018.
“The implementation of the investment programme includes both the development of production capacities and the launch of new products. So far, two centres in Ruse and Stara Zagora for parent flocks and broilers have been completed and operate [at] full capacity. In 2019, two more production centres in Ruse and one in Stara Zagora will be completed. The investments [will] total … nearly BGN9.7 million,” Gradus said in a second filing to the BSE.
Some of the company’s expansion projects were already completed last year. In late 2018, the firm unveiled its subsidiary Gradus-1 EOOD invested some BGN1.82m (€930,000) to acquire new meat processing, storage, vacuum packaging and other equipment, to expand and modernise its capacities. Gradus also purchased new vehicles and software for its facilities.
In an earlier filing, the company said its subsidiary Gradus-98 AD completed an investment to raise its broiler breeding capacity by building a new facility, identified as Centre North-3, with a total surface of some 10,368 sq m. The facility was fitted with a maximum capacity of 72,360 head. The project was worth about BGN3.54m (€1.81m).
Gradus runs a meat processing plant in Stara Zagora, about 226km south of the country’s capital Sofia where the company is headquartered. The Bulgarian business also owns a feed mill, hatcheries, broiler farms, and a slaughterhouse. The firm’s product portfolio consists of fillets, legs, wings, drumsticks, livers, pâtés, sausages, meatballs, and nuggets, among others. Its brands include ‘Gradus’ and ‘I Eat!’.
Established in 1992, the poultry business was set up by brothers Ivan and Luka Angelov, who remain the company’s majority shareholders, and hold an aggregate stake of 81.44%, according to figures from Gradus.