The first announcement of the Turkish company from the dairy industry, Sutash, entering the Macedonian market dates from March 2012. In April of the same year, the company had already bought Swedmilk’s a failed factory. Dairy production in the factory began in May 2013. According to estimates by Turkish investors in Macedonia, they invested 13 million euros and announced that the company would employ up to 150 people.
According to the latest data from the Central Register, by the end of 2015, the Sutash – Balkanska mlekara factory had employed 74 people, and by the end of 2016, the figure had dropped to 62.
The investment of the Turkish Sutash is registered in the Register of direct investments in 2012, and its founding capital amounted to 7 million euros. The total assets of Balkanska mlekara, the name under which the company was registered in Macedonia, reached 12.23 million by the end of 2015, of which about 10 million were non-current assets.
The dairy factory, in 2015, achieved revenues of 3.7 million euros, which were 3.3% lower than the year before. The balance sheet of the company shows that its costs were higher and therefore the reported a loss. According to available data, Balkanska mlekara made a loss of nearly 3 million euros, while in 2014, their loss was 3.4 million euros.
In 2014, the Turkish investor announced that they would expand business in Macedonia by building a farm for breeding heifers over an area of 40 hectares. He added that they were planning to double their production and number of employees. They were already looking for land. The Prime Minister at the time, Nikola Gruevski, explained that the company was working on getting the necessary permits and licenses.
“The factory is planning to double the number of employees, from the current 80 to 150. Obviously, this is a strong, powerful company, with a huge capacity, experience and quality, which intends to seriously expand on the market,” said Gruevski at the time, after visiting the production plant.
According to announcements, Sutash was to make a training centre to train Macedonian farmers, its subcontractors, how to produce heifers. It was going to provide them to farmers in order for the milk production to follow world standards.
Sutash is among the leading brands in the dairy industry in Turkey. It employs over 4,000 people; it produces 750 million liters of milk and its annual turnover exceeds 500 million euros.