Medjimurjeplet Seeks Stronger Export Position With Significant Investments

Lauren Simmonds

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of December, 2019, although the Čakovec-based company Medjimurjeplet has built its brand and business on the production of quality furniture for outdoor spaces based on wood and metal, in recent years, an increasing part of their business has been the production of parquet, windows and doors.

So far, these assortments have in principle been separated through various presentation and sales channels, but today they have been integrated through their concept stores in Zagreb and in Munich. Just last week, an exhibition and sales centre was opened in Zagreb, which houses almost the entire collection of their companies – Međimurjeplet, Pana and Pana Windows.

Although the companies have not been formally consolidated as a group, it is a business “empire” created by Alojzije Sobočanac, which is increasingly being taken over by his daughters Nikolina Babić and Ana Marija Sobočanec Dalić.

“Our entire range is based on the concept of ”living with nature”, ie, high quality and natural materials, various combinations of wood and aluminum, while we have no PVC in our offer. Investments in the modernisation of the window and door factory, Pana Windows in Čakovec, and the new Pana multilayer factory in Turopolje, will greatly increase our capacity and competitiveness on foreign markets,” says Ana Marija Sobočanec Dalić.

She added that 90 percent of their parquet flooring is currently exported, as are 50 percent of their windows and doors, while in the case of furniture, that figure stands at around 20 percent. In the coming period, they plan to put even more emphasis on exports, especially in the area of ​​doors and windows, which is why they have set up a company in Germany. Medjimurjeplet’s most important export markets are those of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, and in the furniture segment, they also have significant cooperation with Italy, from which they import a part of their non-production range.

In the past year, they have invested 13 million kuna in the modernisation of Pana Windows, while a joint investment with Austria’s Weitzer Parkett in the new Pana factory near Velika Gorica stands at more than 70 million kuna (10 million euros). Each partner secured half the amount, and the factory should start operating as of January the 1st, 2020. Although Medjimurjeplet was the base from which the expansion to take over Pana started some 20 years ago, today the furniture factory is actually the smallest member of this business family.

Namely, Medjimurjeplet has around 30 employees and 27 million kuna in revenue, while the Pana parquet factory already generates 70 million kuna with 160 workers, which will be further increased by a new factory and around 50 new employees. Pana Windows, on the other hand, has 55 employees and 20 million kuna in revenue, which will certainly be enhanced by modernising the factory and boosting exports. Here in Croatia, the company mostly cooperates with architectural offices and construction companies, although they also have more and more inquiries and orders from private individuals.

”We’re most represented in the projects of high-end hotels, restaurants and residential and commercial buildings. One of our significant partners is VMD, which has used us for all its projects, and one of them is their Blok Bužanova on the ground floor in which we’ve set up our Concept store in Zagreb,” pointed out Ana Marija Sobočanec Dalić.

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