We originally wanted to hand over the by-product processing plant in March, but because of the virus the investment project was only completed in August, Balázs Prohászka, deputy managing director of Kométa 99 Zrt told növekedés.hu.
At the beginning of the epidemic, supermarkets and convenience stores were stormed by panic buyers. The upsurge, however, didn’t last long.
The shopping spree in March was followed by a more than 30 percent turnover decline in April,
Balázs Prohászka, deputy managing director of Kométa 99 Zrt, one of the largest Hungarian pork processing companies, told növekedés.hu. The manager revealed that they had to postpone one large project, the construction of a by-product processing plant because of the virus.
The project was due to be completed by the end of March, but for the Italian subcontractors who supplied the equipment and who were supposed to do the installation work it was no longer possible to travel in February, so the final completion was put off until August, when the project was eventually completed.
In the meantime, Kométa has become a strategically important company due to the coronavirus epidemic. The company closed with a turnover of 46 billion forints last year and saw their sales revenue rise again in the middle of this year. The slow recovery was followed by slaughtering and sales peaks in the summer months. The reopening of the economy had a positive effect on both their domestic and export markets. "We managed to achieve a significant increase in turnover even in the Italian market," Balázs Prohászka said.
Question marks about the end of the year
As the second wave of the pandemic is still on the rise, its effects are not yet clear. In any case, precautions that proved to be working during the first wave are now being taken again. Remote working is implemented with week A and week B shifts, which stops colleagues assigned to different weeks from meeting each other. In jobs where this is not possible, safe distances between workers are ensured.
As for the near future, Balázs Prohászka explained that until appropriate preventive treatments are implemented, repeated fluctuations can be expected and the protective measures must be maintained.
The company raises wages even despite the epidemic; earnings already grew by an average of 3.4 percent in April, and from October 1, the average wage will increase by an additional 5 percent for manual workers and 3 percent for white collar workers.
The first shutdown revealed that the food industry is a strategically essential sector whose turnover is not dramatically affected by the epidemic, but we must pay a great deal of attention to the protection of workers in order to ensure continuous production capacity,
the deputy managing director stated.