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Žito finalises renovation of Maribor bakery in EUR 9m project

Maribor, 10 July (STA) - Bread and pasta maker Žito, owned since 2015 by the Croatian food group Podravka, has renovated its bakery facility in Maribor in what was a EUR 9 million investment that the company says is a step on the path of becoming the largest baker in Slovenia.

Tomislav Bujanović, the chairman of the Žito group, said at Wednesday's event at which the renovated facility was inaugurated the project completes a EUR 16.2 million investment cycle that started in January 2022.

The bakery has a new oven for pastries and a chamber for rising dough, tunnel freezers and a boiler room and machine room for the compressor station.

The investment enables Žito to introduce many innovations in baking of pastries and bread and the preparation of confectionery, and makes it possible to significantly increase the quantities of baked pastries per hour.

The ceremony was also attended by Martina Dalić, the chairwoman of Podravka and former Croatian economy minister, who said that Žito is the core of the bakery business as part of the Croatian food group.

"The investment ... is the last step in the overhaul of the Maribor bakery as we are strengthening our dominant position on the Slovenian market, while also becoming a relevant baker on the Croatian market and in other neighbouring countries," she said.

Dalić added added that Žito exports more than half of its production, with Croatia, Italy and Austria being its most important foreign markets, where not only bread but also confectioner, is being exported.

Economy Minister Matjaž Han said that he was pleased that important investments were being made in Slovenia's second-largest city, where 230 of around 1,000 employees of the Žito group work.

"Every investment by which the owners increase competitiveness is good for both the company and the employees, and also for the state," he said, adding that the state will help Žito with possible additional investments, if necessary.

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