Ukraine poultry producer MHP is set to invest €35 million to expand production capacities in Serbia, Victoria Kapelyushnaya, the chief financial officer of MHP, told local press. MHP is building new production facilities in this country, the first of which has already been finished, she added.
The Serbian project is expected to be part of the company's push aimed at expanding its European business. Kapelyushnaya said that MHP also decided to invest an additional €10 million to expand the production capacities of PerutninaPtuj in Croatia.
MHP acquired Slovenian-based poultry integrator PerutninaPtuj in February 2019 for €273 million. In 2020, Anastasiya Sobotyuk, Director of Investor Relations at MHP, told Poultry World that the company planned to invest in modernisation, cost optimisation, and expansion of production assets at PerutninaPtuj during the next 3-4 years.
Part of MHP investments in the European countries is provided by subsidies from local governments, Kapelyushnaya said. MHP keeps expressing interest in new acquisitions in the European poultry industry, she added.
In addition, MHP is currently running a tender and negotiations to launch its first project in Saudi Arabia, Kapelyushnaya said, not providing any further details.
Yuri Kosyuk, the owner of MHP, earlier said that the company mulls more investments in the market it considered most promising, which are Europe and the Middle East.
Generating profits, despite higher costs
MHP has posted a net profit of US$1 million in the first quarter of 2021, as compared to a net loss of US$174 million in the first quarter of 2020, the company said in its quarterly report. MHP's consolidated revenue remained stable and amounted to US$447 million, a 1%-increase compared to the same period last year.
Revenue from export sales in the first quarter of 2021 was 49% of total revenue and amounted to US$216.5 million. In 2020, this figure was slightly higher, standing at 53%.
Several outbreaks of avian influenza in Ukraine during the first quarter of 2021 caused temporary cessation of exports from Ukraine to the EU, MHP said. High grain costs also appeared to be a challenging factor this year.
In the first quarter of 2021, Perutnina Ptuj's poultry production facilities produced 24,662 tonnes of chicken and turkey meat, 3% higher year-on-year, while poultry sales constituted 16,042 tonnes, 6% up year-on-year, driven by increased production of chicken meat following expansion at facilities in Croatia and Serbia.
Perutnina Ptuj's meat-processing facilities produced 9,393 tonnes of various products, 14% higher year-on-year, while sales constituted 9,206 tonnes, pretty stable year-on-year, the company added.