Smurfit Kappa reinforces position in Central and Eastern Europe with €20M investment
25 Nov 2022 --- Smurfit Kappa’s manufacturing plants have been officially reopened in Central and Eastern Europe after an investment of over €20 million (US$21 million). The money was used to upgrade the packaging solutions providers’ facilities in Olomouc in the Czech Republic and Obaly Štúrovo in Slovakia and strengthen Smurfit Kappa’s position in the regions.
Smurfit Kappa announced the investment last year. Now, the money has been used for installing state-of-the-art equipment to expand capacity and address the rise in customer demand for paper-based packaging solutions.
“Both of our investments at the Olomouc and Obaly Štúrov plants have finished at a time when there is a scarcity of all kinds of materials,” says Zdenek Suchitra, CEO of Smurfit Central & South-East Europe.
“These investments, along with the investments we made in two additional sites in the Czech Republic, demonstrate our commitment to our customers and operations in Central and Eastern Europe.”
Smurfit’s European expansion
The new supplies include converting equipment which will increase the capacity by over 100 million regular and offset printed boxes per annum.
“Through these investments, which have created state-of-the-art facilities for our plants, we are excellently positioned to satisfy our well-established customer base while also venturing into the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), e-commerce and electro-technical sectors,” continues Zdenek.
Smurfit Kappa already has a set position in the area. Its foundations enable the company to target further specific industries, most notably the FMCG and electro-technical sectors.
Smurfit Kappa currently has 26 locations in Central and Eastern Europe, with one in Serbia, Slovakia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania. The company has five more locations in the Czech Republic and Poland, and three in Austria and Bulgaria.
“We are in a strong position to continue to deliver our sustainable solutions, as well as efficiency to the market and to be a better place to work for our people,” Zdenek concludes.
Central and Eastern Europe focus
Besides the FMCG sector, the health and beauty e-commerce market in Europe is considered one of the largest and fastest-growing categories, valued at €17.6 billion (US$20.4 billion) in 2020, according to Smurfit Kappa.
The company previously reported online purchasing continuing with double-digit growth in Eastern Europe (37%). It stated the growth presents a “significant opportunity for retailers to capitalize on,” with the overall e-commerce retail market estimated to be worth €380 billion (US$439 billion).
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Stora Enso partnered with Tetra Pak to explore the possibility of constructing a large-scale recycling line that could significantly increase the recycling rates of used beverage cartons in Central and Eastern Europe.
By Sabine Waldeck
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