The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is helping to boost private-sector competitiveness in the Western Balkans by supporting one of the leading Macedonian agribusiness companies.
The EBRD is extending up to €3 million to Vitaminka, a leading branded food producer in FYR Macedonia, specialising in chocolate confectionary and crisp snacks. The proceeds of the loan will be used to procure new energy-efficient production equipment and modernise two production facilities.
The loan will strengthen Vitaminka’s competitiveness in local and regional markets, increase production line efficiency and significantly reduce operational costs.
Financing for this project comes under the EBRD’s Local Enterprise Facility (LEF). The LEF is a programme combining finance and technical assistance, focused on strengthening the private sector by providing long-term financing for small and medium-sized enterprises in the Balkans, Turkey and the southern and eastern Mediterranean region.
Vitaminka is one of the strongest and best-recognised brands in the regional market, occupying one of the leading position due to its high food quality and reasonable pricing. The company has already invested in the modernisation of its production facilities and is constantly redeveloping its production portfolio to meet the evolving demands of local and regional markets. The company exports over 45 per cent of its products, primarily to Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Kosovo, Australia, USA and other countries.
“The signing of the new loan is materialising the EBRD’s support of the Macedonian real sector and shows that we have confidence in Macedonian companies. We are pleased to work with Vitaminka and to promote sustainable business models in the country” said Holger Muent, EBRD Director, Western Balkans.
“The funds will help to promote Macedonia’s agricultural potential through fostering regional competitiveness of well positioned market player in the Macedonian agribusiness sector, Vitaminka, whose development EBRD is proud to support,” said Miljan Zdrale, EBRD Head of Agribusiness for Central south-eastern Europe.
“Vitaminka sees the EBRD as a reliable partner and we take pride in our long-standing relationship. We are looking into further expanding our business and strengthening our position in the regional market and are pleased to be supported by the EBRD,” said Simon Naumoski, Vitaminka’s President of the Board of Directors.
This is the third transaction between the EBRD and Vitaminka. In 2012 the EBRD provided a €2.5 million loan to Vitaminka to finance the purchase of new production and related packaging equipment. In 2007 the EBRD provided a €4 million loan to the company to finance its investment programme, which included procurement of a new production line for soft cookies and packaging equipment.
The EBRD began investing in the Macedonian economy in 1993. To date it has signed over 80 projects in the country with a net cumulative business volume of more than €1.1 billion.