Hoop invests in production to expand in Europe

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A re-vamped, state-of-the-art factory, which can produce 50,000
bottles of soft drinks every hour, has just been opened by Polish
soft drinks company Hoop, giving the company the perfect platform
to penetrate European markets, writes Chris Mercer.

Four exisitng production lines have been modernised and two new ones built at Hoop's production plant at Grodzisk Wielkopolski in western Poland, which re-opened for business on Friday 24th September.

The upgrade, in which the company also improved water installations and expanded warehouse space, cost PLN40 million (€9.2 million) but has increased the plants production capacity by five times.

A further 200 jobs jobs have also been created at the plant, which will help to ease the 10 per cent unemployment rate amongst Grodzisk Wielkopolski's 12,500 inhabitants.

"We will be producing all Hoop drinks here, as well as our flagship product, Woda Grodziska,"​ said Hoop's management advisor, Robert Niczewski, to news agency Warsaw independent.

The company hopes that the plant's improved production capacity can help it to launch a greater assault on export markets across Europe, something which Hoop will concentrate on over the next two years according to its supervisory board.

And the company is already on the way after recently signing a contract worth 160 million zloty (€36.6 million) to deliver mineral water to German company, Kubus GmbH.

Such deals are also now needed by Hoop after taking a gamble with profits in order to expand at Grodzisk Wielkopolski. Company net profits for the 2003 financial year were 2.6 million zloty (€595,000) down from 16.5 million zloty (€3.7 million) in 2002.

Hoop's supervisory board said that capacity at the improved Grodzisk Wielkopolski plant, alongside existing production at the company's other two plants Bielsk Podlaski and Tychy, paved the way for increased sales to replenish Hoop's depleted profit ratio.

The company has also extended an advertising deal with US supermodel Cindy Crawford, initially signed in March 2004, for her to continue as the face of Hoop's Arctic mineral water brand in Poland and Russia. Sales of Arctic rose 50 per cent during 2003.

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