Category: Business

Petrol Stations in Trouble after 10% Fuel Fails Quality Test

CroatiaOperation ‘Octane’, which the Ministry of Economy carried out recently to check the quality of petrol at the pumps in Croatia, has revealed that motorists are occasionally getting a raw deal…

The results from the inspection of over 50 fuel samples from 24 gas stations in the country have shown that 10% of those samples were not up to the required quality standard which should be sold at the pumps. Four diesel samples and a Eurosuper 95 failed the test.

“Unfortunately we must confirm that the results show that 10% of tested samples from gas stations did not meet quality standards prescribed by Croatian and European law. We will continue to test the quality at pumps across the whole country,”said Economy Minister Ivan Vrdoljak.

Those responsible for the below par product face fines of up to 90,000 euros. The 50 samples tested came from the Osijek, Split, Zagreb and Varaždin areas. Whilst samples from the Rijeka area were 100% fine.

Global Giants foodpanda Acquire Croatian Online Food Delivery Firm

foodpandaOne of the world’s leading online food ordering companies, foodpanda, which operates in more than 40 countries across four continents, has announced a partnership with Croatian firm Pauza.hr…

The investment into the Croatian food delivery company comes on the back of strategic investment into the region recently. foodpanda have also purchased Donesi in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, and NetPricer in Hungary as they look to become the market leader in the region.

The partnership with Pauza.hr is an important one, the company said in a press release, with Pauza and foodpanda to offer food delivery from more than 130 restaurants in Zagreb. Customers are able to order food over the internet or via Pauza.hr’s mobile app. foodpanda work with more than 35,000 restaurants in over 40 countries. Pauza.hr, who were founded in 2008, will continue to operate under the same name and brand.

“Pauza.hr has developed a successful product over the last few years in Zagreb offering its users an easy and fun way to order food. We believe that the partnership with foodpanda will bring new ideas and allow our product to move up to the next level,” Pauza.hr founder and director Valentin Đurov said.

Croatian Designer Lands Cartoon Network Project

love Ana
The world-famous television cartoon broadcaster, the Cartoon Network, has selected Croatian product designer Ana Tevšić for their latest projects…

28-year-old Ana, who is from Pula in Croatia, will work as the Cartoon Network’s product designer for legendary cartoons Cow & Chicken, Dexter’s Laboratory and Johnny Bravo. Ana, who completed studies at the School of Design at the University of Architecture, says she was surprised to be selected by the popular American satellite channel after going through a series of interviews. All of the products she designs in connection with the cartoons will be produced in her Zagreb studio Love, Ana, and will also be available for sale there.

Ana Tevšić

Ana Tevšić

The Cartoon Network is available to approximately 98,671,000 pay television households in the United States.

Podravka Shut Factory in Poland

vegeta1Croatian food company Podravka has decided to close of its factories in Poland, the Koprivnica-based company said in a statement on Tuesday…

Podravka, who produce number of food products including the popular spice Vegeta, stopped production at its Poland plant on Monday. Around 45 workers will be paid severance packages. With Croatia joining the EU and trade free zone recently, Podravka, who have been present in Poland since the early 1990’s, decided to operate production solely from its Koprivnica base.

Global Property Guide: Croatia Sees Dramatic Recovery

Zagreb_Gornji_gradRenowned property website Global Property Guide (GPD) say that the real estate market in Croatia saw “a truly dramatic recovery” during the year to Q3 2014…

GPG start their report by saying “Europe is back! Four of the five strongest housing markets in our global survey were in Europe. In all, seventeen European markets performed better during the year to Q3 2014 than the previous year, and only four showed weaker momentum,”

The report goes onto say that Croatia and Portugal were the only two markets that saw positive quarterly growth during the latest quarter.

“Croatia saw a house price rise of 2.64% during the year to Q3 2014 – a truly dramatic recovery from a decline of 17.69% during the same period last year. Portugal (1.86%), Switzerland (1.48%), Norway (1.32%) and Bulgaria (1.29%) also had price rises. All, except Switzerland, performed better in Q3 2014 compared to a year earlier. However of these, only Croatia and Portugal saw positive quarterly growth during the latest quarter.”

GPG say the there is currently a global house price boom, with prices rising in 30 of the 39 world’s housing markets which so far published housing statistics, using inflation-adjusted figures. Dubai was the world’s top performer, with housing prices rising 23.73% during the year to Q3.

Four out of the five strongest housing markets in the global survey were in Europe. In Tallinn, Estonia, best performer in Europe, the average price of dwellings surged by 15.3% during the year to Q3 2014, up from the 12.46% growth seen last year. House prices increased 2.51% q-o-q during the latest quarter. This was fuelled by an improving economy. In Ireland, residential property prices rose 14.52% during the year to Q3 2014, a remarkable improvement from a y-o-y increase of 3.45% in the same period last year. Irish house prices rose strongly by 6.43% q-o-q in Q3 2014. The UK property market continued to show impressive performance. Nationwide house prices rose by 8.95% y-o-y in Q3 2014, a sharp improvement from an annual increase of 1.47% in the previous year and the second biggest increase since Q4 2004, said the report.

CroTeam Develop Another Gaming Hit

CroteamCroatian independent game developers CroTeam, who made its name around the world thanks to the ‘Serious Sam’ series, have a new hit…

Based in Zagreb and initially a “garage games” company, CroTeam have now developed ‘The Talos Principle’, a philosophical first-person puzzle game. Players are tasked to solve complex puzzles woven into a metaphysical parable about intelligence and meaning in a doomed world.

In addition to its commercial success, CroTeam’s Serious Sam garnered critical acclaim from the games media, winning ign.com’s “Game of the Year” (PC) award for 2001, amongst others. Serious Sam currently holds an average score of 83% at Game Rankings, with 76% for Serious Sam II.

More Building Permits Issued in 2014

Construction_WorkersIn October 2014, there were 614 building permits issued, 12.4% less than were issued in the same month in 2013, but overall the number of building permits issued in 2014 were up on last year…

According to the Croatian Bureau of Statistics, the total number of building permits issued in the period from January to October 2014 was 3.6% higher than in the same period of 2013. 84.2% out of the total number of permits were issued on buildings, whilst 15.8% were for civil engineering works. When it came to the types of construction works, 67.6% of permits were issued on new constructions and 32.4% on reconstructions. According to the permits issued in October 2014, it was expected for 663 dwellings with the average floor area of 92.0 m2 to be built.

Croatian-Slovenian Pregnancy Aid App Attracts $3 Million Investment

Croatia64Things are going from strength to strength for Croatian-Slovenian startup Bellabeat, the company behind the app which helps expecting mothers track their pregnancies…

Bellabeat has managed to attract a further 3 million USD investment, to go along with 4.5 milion USD it raised in its first investment round. Tech portal Netokracija reports that heavyweight investors GGV Capital, who have invested interests in Alibaba, Misfit, SoundCloud, Square and a number of other companies have joined the ‘investment bandwagon’. Hollywood actress Jessica Alba was one of the earlier investors in the company, along with SVAngel, Universal Music Group and CrunchFund.

Bellabeat, which was part of the winter 2014 class of Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, where it was voted the “most likely to succeed”, has developed a “connected system” that includes a small $129 device that attaches to an iPhone or Android smartphone and lets expectant mothers hear, record, and share their baby’s heartbeat anytime. The Bellabeat app also helps women track other aspects of their pregnancies, such as weight gain and how often the baby kicks.

Bellabeat is founded by Croatian mathematician Sandro Mur from Zagreb, and Slovenian artist Urška Sršen.

End of 160-Year Era for Croatian Brewery

karlovacka-pivovara-ulaz-largeKarlovačka pivovara (Karlovac Brewery), which was founded in 1854 and brews one of Croatia’s most famous beers – Karlovačko, has officially changed its name…

Karlovačka pivovara, which has operated for the last 10 years under the ownership of Dutch brewer Heineken Group, is now officially HEINEKEN Hrvatska, after the Ministry of Public Administration just rubber stamped the change.

“Over a number of years of its history the name of the brewery in Karlovac has changed but the name of the beer Karlovačko has remained the same. This change is a logical step in the company’s business operations, but will in no way affect the employees or the future of our most famous brand – Karlovačko. We are extremely proud of our beer tradition in which we will continue to invest, and develop Karlovačko. Also, the heart of the brewery remains in Karlovac, which retains a strong local presence in the city and county,” said HEINEKEN Croatia CEO Branka Slaveska to Jutarnji list, adding that the brewery is soon about to start producing Amstel beer for the Croatian market, which was previously brewed in Serbia. (pic: jatrgovac,hr)

100 New Jobs for the Croatian Town With Just 2% Unemployment

Another 100 new jobs are set to be created in Croatia’s ‘economic miracle’ town – Hum na Sutli – located in the northern Croatian county of Krapina-Zagorje…

With an unemployment rate already of around just 2 percent, there was further good news for the residents of the small town after Croatia’s Vice Prime Minister Branko Grčić visited Omco, a Belgium glass mould company which has a factory in the town. At the start of 2015 Omco will launch another phase of serious investment – injecting over 30 million euros into the business in Croatia and opening up 100 new jobs in the process.

Grčić at Omco's Hum na Sutli headquarters on Monday

Grčić at Omco’s Hum na Sutli headquarters on Monday

“This company is proof that it is possible to invest in Croatia, thanks to this governments policies,” said Grčić during his visit to Omco’s Croatia headquarters on Monday.

From 2007 to 2013 Omco, which produces moulds for glass used in the beverage and pharmaceutical industry, has invested 24.71 million euros in modernising and expanding its production plant and capacity. Omco Croatia export 97% of its products, with one of every ten bottles in the world comes from Hum na Sulti mould.