FINLAND – Atria Group, one of the leading meat and food companies in the Nordic countries has unveiled plans of investing €130 million (US$142.82m)  in a project to expand poultry production in Finland.

The investment project includes the renovation of existing production facilities and the construction of new production facilities and lines at the Nurmo plant.  

Atria is banking on the growing poultry segment in Finland, which according to the Finland based company, consumption of poultry meat has been growing strongly in Finland for several years. This year, the consumption has increased by about 4 percent in value.

Atria is responding to the growth in consumer demand and is now planning a major investment project to strengthen its  position as a market leader in poultry products. 

“We will initiate the project planning based on preliminary studies. If implemented, the investment would be one of the largest single investment projects in Atria’s history,” says Juha Gröhn, chief executive of Atria Plc.

“We have a strong belief in Finnish food production and the fact that the Finnish meat industry will succeed in international competition, as long as we have courage to invest in it,” Juha adds.

Atria has now started the application process to gain regulatory approvals from the relevant authorities, and a statement from the company estimates that the project is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2024 at the earliest.

The Finland-based meat and poultry company also has operations in Sweden, Denmark, Estonia and Russia – with Finland and Sweden being its major markets.

During the three months to ending June 30, Atria Finland’s net sales totaled €263.7 million (US$293.9 million), an increase from the €254.9 million (US$284.07 million) reported for the second quarter of 2018.

Atria Sweden’s net sales for the quarter grew by 6.5 percent, totaling EUR74.4 million (US$82.9 million), up from the EUR71.7 million (US$79.91 million) recorded during the second quarter of 2018.

During the first half of the year, the company saw consumption of read meat decrease by 4% compared to 6% increase the consumption of chicken. Atria projects that the structural change in meat consumption will continue to shift from red meat to chicken.