HAIX Obuca, the manufacturer of functional footwear, opened two more production halls in Mala Subotica, near the northern city of Cakovec, on Saturday.
The EUR 5 million investment extended the factory's premises to 15,200 square metres and increased the production capacity from the present 6,000 to 10,000 pairs of shoes a day. The construction of the new halls created the conditions for the opening of 170 new jobs and restoration of a three-shift work system.
HAIX has so far employed 660 people in Croatia. "By building the new halls in Mala Subotica we have confirmed that our decision to invest in Croatia was right," HAIX CEO Ewald Haimerl said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
HAIX has been present in Croatia since 1999, and in 2004 it opened a subsidiary. Haimerl said that more than EUR 10 million had been invested to date in the construction of the production halls in Croatia and 6.5 million in the necessary equipment and machinery.
Speaking of the transfer of production from Asia to the European Union, Haimerl said that he had opted for Croatia for several reasons, one being that the Medjimurje region, unlike Bavaria, already had skilled labour, and the other being the speed of administration. He said he was surprised that it had taken just four to eight weeks to obtain all the necessary permits, while in Germany this would take between four and eight months. "We received a building permit in a day," he said, praising the local administration and workers.
Factory manager Markus Lins said that shoes made in Mala Subotica were sold across the world and were worn not just by professionals, such as soldiers, firefighters, police officers, rescue workers and forest keepers, but increasingly by ordinary people as well.
HAIX Group reported a 27% increase in revenues last year, and in Croatia its revenues increased by EUR 16 million. HAIX Obuca (Footwear) is fully owned by HAIX Schuhe Produktions und Vertriebs GmbH, based in Mainburg.