The project, dubbed the Centre North-4, in Chervena Voda, in Bulgaria’s north-eastern region, was carried out by the company’s subsidiary Gradus-98 AD.
“The facility comprises six buildings, 12 halls, each hall of 864m2 of functional built-up area. The maximum capacity of the centre is 123,264 birds. [It currently] operates at full capacity,” the company said in a filing to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange (BSE).
Of the BGN3.5m invested in the project, Gradus spent about BGN1.5m (€740,000) on the construction of new facilities and repair work, and a further BGN2.1m (€1.1m) on purchasing new machinery and equipment for the farm, according to data from the meat business.
Gradus is also developing another facility, dubbed the Centre North-5, in the same municipality, that “is expected to be completed in Аugust 2019”, according to the statement. The Centre North-5 will comprise six buildings and 12 halls.
The Bulgarian company said it was implementing an investment programme outlined in its prospectus for the initial public offering (IPO) held on 18 and 19 June 2018. The two-day IPO generated a total of BGN81.4m (€41.6m) for Gradus, facilitating the acquisition of funds for the firm’s investments. In addition to this, the meat business was also procuring additional funds for its development projects from the European Union.
For 2018, Gradus reported total revenues of BGN141.93m (€72.5m), as indicated by figures from its interim consolidated management report. About 60% of the sales were generated in the company’s domestic market, representing about BGN85.8m (€43.9m). Exports to other European countries represented 16% of the sales, or 22.12m (€11.31m), while other foreign markets generated revenues of just under BGN34m (€17.4m), representing 24% of the sales. Meat and meat products accounted for 48% of the company’s revenues, while eggs, grain and components, and other products generated the remaining 52%, according to the report.
Gradus operates a meat processing plant in Stara Zagora, some 226km south of the country’s capital Sofia, where the firm is also headquartered. In addition to the meat processing plant and its broiler farms, Gradus also owns a feed mill, hatcheries, and a slaughterhouse. The Bulgarian company’s product portfolio comprises fillets, wings, legs, drumsticks, livers, sausages, meatballs, nuggets, and pâtés, among others. The meat processor sells its products under the ‘Gradus’ and ‘I Eat!’ brands.
The poultry business was established in 1992 by brothers Ivan and Luka Angelov. The two entrepreneurs remain the firm’s majority shareholders, and hold 81.4% of the shares in the company, according to its own data.