Russian investor has big designs for Estonian dairy

  • 2004-11-17
  • Baltic News Service
TALLINN - Russia's Nutritec Group, which just acquired the Estmilk Production dairy, said it hoped to double output and become the leader of the children's food market both in the Baltic states and CIS.

"Our key goals are to increase capacity and install a line for the production of children's food," chairman of Nutritec's board of directors George Sazhinov told reporters on Nov. 11. "As to children's food, we hope to become the market leader in the Baltic states and CIS."

Estmilk and the raw-milk producer Agro Piim Nutritec, which was acquired along with the dairy, are the Russian firm's first subsidiaries in the European Union. The concern is interested in the Baltic and eastern European markets, Sazhinov said, adding that the group may set its sights on the Iraqi, Iranian and Egyptian markets as well.

He said Nutritec projects that Estmilk Production's sales next year would amount to $50 million, or almost twice as much as in 2003.

"We are also going to invest 6.5 million euros in the company in 2005," he said.

Nutritec bought Estmilk Production and Agro Piim Nutritec from the Estonian firm Leonarda Invest, owned by Tallinna Aripank (Tallinn Business Bank).

The Nutritec Group is the largest skim-milk powder and children's food producer in the CIS, and Russia's third-largest producer of whole milk, butter and cheese. The group comprises 10 companies that process more than 2,200 tons of milk a day. The concern's consolidated sales turnover is expected to reach $170 million this year.