The revamp cost the company, owned by Swedish bakery group Fazer, some €7 million). The move has allowed Fazer to boost capacity and reduce production costs, part of the company's plan to increase its share of the Latvian bread market this year.
Fazer has around 9 per cent of the total Latvian bread market, but its share of the white bread market is somewhat higher at 35 per cent - at least for bread sold through the supermarket sector. The company makes around 40 different types of bread.
Its sales last year were 2 billion lats, but the group ended the year some 210,600 lats in the red.
"We have defined the Baltic Rim as our home market. Thus, Latvia is an important investment target for Fazer Bakeries," said Markku Numminen, managing director of Fazer Bakeries states. "Latvia has grown strongly in recent years and the coming EU membership will certainly increase the growth potential in bakery business as well."
Ivars Skrebelis, head of the Fazer Maiznica Druva bakery, said that the modernisation had significantly improved its competitiveness. "These renovations will ensure the high quality and freshness of our products, as well as increase our production capacity. We have also become even more competitive as an employer."
Numminen said that the comapny wanted to be among the most innovative in the Latvian market. "Fazer Bakeries wants to be the innovator in the bakery branch. Our main success factors are innovative research and development, investments in new technology, high-quality operations and products, comprehensive distribution network, strong brands and skilled and committed staff," he said.
As bread and taste are very much culturally defined, he said, Fazer Bakeries' strategy was to develop new products based on local bread cultures and habits with the aim of providing the best bakery products and brands in each country.
"The modernized Fazer Maiznica Druva bakery is an excellent example of combining the latest technology with deep-rooted expertise, strong traditional brands and a local bread culture,"Numminen concluded.