By: Richard Higgs
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS
April 29, 2014
Samsonite-Hungária, a subsidiary of US baggage manufacturer Samsonite International, is investing almost 8 million euros ($11 million) in a fresh expansion phase at its plastics molded suitcase plant at Szekszárd in south west Hungary.
The company is constructing a new 4,400 square meters production hall at the site which will add output of 800 polycarbonate cases per day. The building, taking the plant’s size to 19,000 sqare meters, is due for completion by mid May allowing the unit to launch production by June 2014, the firm announced.
Through its latest project, Samsonite-Hungária will broaden its product portfolio and boost overall output at Szekszárd by 28 percent. New added value technology is being introduced to enable the plant to turn out designer PC cases in parallel with its older Curv composite material case models in order to meet a demand for innovative baggage in Europe, the firm said.
Curv is a reinforced polypropylene composite sheet produced by Propex Operating Co. LLC.
Last year, the Hungarian subsidiary turned out a total of 640,000 suitcases a figure which is set to rise to 700,000 in 2014. The latest project will increase the workforce by 50 to 500, according to the unit’s director József Pinczel.
Samsonite’s latest investment scheme attracted state subsidies worth 2.3 million euros ($3.1 million) through Hungary’s New Széchenyi Plan fund. The project is part of the group’s 16 million euro ($22.1 million) investment plan in the country, originally launched in 2009.
Samsonite-Hungária saw annual sales rise 2013 from 37.4 million euros ($51.6 million) to more than 41 million euros ($56.6 million) with pre-tax earnings at 3.86 million euros ($5.3 million). The company expects an improved result this year with its pre-tax profit up to 4.84 million ($6.6 million) on annual sales of 48.4 million euros ($66.8 million).