Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, emphasized at the handover ceremony on Tuesday that the government is supporting the investment with HUF 270 million; the Dutch company has undertaken to protect 465 jobs and is buying 85 percent of its raw materials from domestic suppliers.
Hungarian agriculture and farmers can also benefit from the investment because Heineken will procure barley, elderberry and cherries from Hungary, plus hop production in Hungary will be getting a boost with the help of a program launched jointly with Heineken. The development will increase the efficiency of brewing and food safety and can also lead to new products, the minister said.
Szijjártó also mentioned that the Hungarian and Dutch economies have a close cooperation, with the Dutch being the tenth-largest investment community in Hungary and the Netherlands being Hungary’s seventh most important partner. Last year, trade between the two countries exceeded EUR 9 billion, he said.
Geert Swaanenburg, CEO of Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak Zrt., pointed out that last year was difficult due to the coronavirus restrictions. Beer consumption in restaurants decreased to zero. Still, the Sopron factory produces the highest quality beer in the world of Heineken and was even awarded last year. The company says it has decided not to lay off any of its employees, he added.
According to public data, sales for Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak Zrt. were HUF 63.9 billion in 2019, HUF 4.7 billion more than in the previous year. Profit after tax increased to HUF 4.03 billion, HUF 1.4 billion more than in 2018. Heineken Hungária Sörgyárak Zrt. is a member of the Dutch-based Heineken Group, which manufactures nearly 100 types of products at its Sopron plant.
The company last announced in the spring of 2018 that it would expand its Sopron plant’s capacity by 30 percent from its own resources of HUF 2 billion.