The EBRD is increasing its support for the corporate sector in Serbia, with financing for the household and beauty products group Beohemija that will increase production at the company and widen its export market in south eastern Europe.
The new €68 million loan to Beohemija will finance a major investment programme that includes a modernisation of its manufacturing sites and the installation of new equipment and construction of new facilities.
The programme will boost production volumes, support the launch of new product lines and also lead to better cost management and energy efficiency gains.
The EBRD will provide €20 million of the total loan, with the rest syndicated via subsidiaries of European commercial banks, including Unicredit Bank, Societe Generale Bank, Erste Bank and Eurobank EFG.
With a 20-year record on the Serbian market, Beohemija specialises in personal and household products and enjoys wide brand recognition across eight countries in south eastern Europe.
The production capacity of the Belgrade-based company is divided among four manufacturing facilities - Beohemija, Dahlia, Inhem and Brixol plants - focusing on detergents, washing and cleaning goods, beauty and cosmetics products.
“With this project, the EBRD will help Beohemija to further expand in Serbia and into the region. The project will contribute to successful restructuring of a company in the chemical sector in Serbia. The new production lines will use the latest technology from well-known producers, efficient in cost management and entailing significant energy savings. Therefore the company will continue setting an example of how to be financially successful, energy efficient and environmentally responsible,” said Hildegard Gacek, EBRD Director for Serbia.
In the first half of 2011, Beohemija’s domestic sales rose by over 40 per cent, while its exports increased by almost 20 per cent compared with income figures last year.
“We are proud that, as a result of Beohemija’s dynamic development, the EBRD as well as four successful Serbian banks, are becoming our partners today in achieving our ambitious long-term plans. In our next step we will focus on the modernisation of production capacities, operational and technological restructuring of the company to improve our productivity, energy efficiency and environmental standards”, said Željko Žunić, General Manager of Beohemija.
Since the beginning of its activity in Serbia, the EBRD has committed over €2.5 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy, of which almost €600 million in 2010.