LATVIA – Vilvi Group, a prominent dairy company headquartered in Lithuania, has announced plans to invest €50 million (US$54.6 million) in expanding cheese production at its facility in Bauska, Latvia.

According to a statement from Vilvi Group, the investment marks the company’s largest project in 31 years and is expected to be completed by 2027.

The expansion will take place at a site formerly owned by SIA Baltic Dairy Board, of which Vilvi acquired a 70% stake in 2021, eventually acquiring the remaining 30% minority interest in April of the following year.

The project will be financed through a combination of Vilvi’s funds and loans from Citadele Bank, with additional support from Latvia’s government, which is investing €8.5 million through the state-run development finance institution, Altum.

While the exact number of new employment opportunities is yet to be determined, Vilvi has confirmed that the project will create jobs

In its recent financial performance, Vilvi reported a 9.3% decline in revenues to €212.2 million for the 12 months ending December 31, 2023.

However, its EBITDA increased by 15% to €21 million compared to the previous year, with annual net profit also showing a 15% increase over 2022 figures.

Vilvi’s primary export market is the European Union, accounting for 49% of its sales in 2023, followed by Lithuania at 17%.

The company also exports to Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas, constituting 34% of its sales last year.

While sales to the EU experienced a 22.1% decline to €103.3 million, sales to Lithuania saw a notable increase of 36.9% to €36.6 million. Exports to other countries slightly decreased by 3% to €72.2 million.

Vilvi Group’s consumer brands encompass a diverse range of dairy products, including Gouda cheese slices under its namesake label, as well as cheeses under the Memel brand, such as Reserve 12, Piquant 2, and Prussia 3 cheese rounds and blocks.

Additionally, the company offers various yoghurt, cream cheese, sour cream, kefir, low-sugar glazed cream cheese bars, and curd spreads under the Vilkyškių Pieninė label, along with whey protein powder under the GymOn brand.

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