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INTERVIEW - Serbia's Mecafor Products considering new factory as business grows

Author Radomir Ralev
INTERVIEW - Serbia's Mecafor Products considering new factory as business grows Mecafor Products factory in Kikinda; Source: La Fonte Ardennaise

BELGRADE (Serbia), April 19 (SeeNews) - Serbian metal casting products manufacturer Mecafor Products, a unit of France's Grupe La Fonte Ardennaise, is considering the construction of a new factory, as its business is rapidly expanding, a senior company official told SeeNews.

Mecafor Products started operations in Serbia in 2008 when it opened a small factory with only two machines in Senta, in the country's north. In October 2016, the company relocated its production activity to a factory in Kikinda, in which it invested 4 million euro ($4.9 million).

Now, the company considers the construction of a new factory, Mecafor Products general manager, Nebojsa Nedeljkovic, told SeeNews on the sidelines of the SEE Automotive Conference held in Novi Sad, northern Serbia, earlier this week.

The factory in Kikinda, which now has 85 employees, represented a greenfield investment on about 500,000 square metres of land and its development will be completed next year, Nedeljkovic said.

"After that, we will think about a new factory, because we have enough land."

Moreover, Mecafor Products intends to increase its investments to some 2.5 million euro in 2018 from 2.0 million euro last year.

"For this year, we have three orders for machining centres. The price of each unit is about 500,000 euro," Nedeljkovic said.

Mecafor Products needs more supplies in Serbia, which opens up opportunities for potential partners in the country. Partnerships are needed in the field of robotics, automatisation and digitisation, Nedeljkovic said.

"We need to modernise the way of doing our business, we need to improve automatisation, work digitisation, in order to have functional and digitised processes and we already have some projects for that," he explained.

The company expects its turnover to rise by about 16% in 2018 to 11 million euro, as its business is expanding rapidly, the general manager of Mecafor Products said.

"This year, our turnover is expected to reach 11 million euro, as we continue to grow."

In his presentation at the SEE Automotive Conference, Nedeljkovic said the company's revenues rose about 51% in 2017 to 9.5 million euro from 6.3 million euro in 2016. 

Grupe La Fonte Ardennaise chose to invest in Serbia because of the country's strategic location in eastern Europe, which brings it closer to customers, and the high quality of its labour force.

"The main advantage of Serbia as an investment destination is the good technical skills of the people," Nedeljkovic said.

Mecafor Products is currently using 16 numerically-controlled machining centres and five casting machines at its Kikinda factory and exports all of its output, Nedeljkovic said during his presentation at the conference. The list of customers of the company includes Skania, Volvo, Bosch and Valeo, while products made in Serbia are also exported to the factory of Renault in Brazil, Nedeljkovic said. 

($ = 0.80768 euro)