Since it entered the Croatian market in 2015 with the takeover of Rovinj Tobacco Factory (TDR), Croatian and regional leader in tobacco products, British American Tobacco (BAT) will have invested €45 million in Croatia by the end of this year, BAT said at a press conference on Thursday.
BAT, world’s largest publicly traded tobacco company, bought TDR in mid-2015 for €505 billion from one of the biggest Croatian companies, Adris Group. BAT agreed that the production of tobacco products will remain in Kanfanar near the town of Rovinj in Istria for five years after the acquisition. The products produced at BAT in Kanfanar are exported to 25 EU countries.
BAT Adria's headquarters are located in Zagreb and the company employs 1,700 workers in Croatia.
According to earlier reports, 10 billion cigarettes were produced in the factory in Kanfanar last year, and this year the company estimates that figure to be about 12.5 billion cigarettes, which is a 50 percent increase of the facility's output from when BAT acquired TDR in 2015.
At the press conference, a new apparatus for heating tobacco was presented by BAT, called glo, which heats tobacco to generate a nicotine-containing aerosol with a tobacco taste.
Because the tobacco is only heated instead of burned, the resulting aerosol can potentially contain substantially lower levels of the toxicants found in the smoke produced when tobacco is burned.
Croatia has become BAT’s headquarters in the Adria region, said Antal Bekefi, BAT director for the Adria region.
BAT has been investing significant funds into research and development since 2012, investing more than $2.5 billion for new-generation products, he added.
Glo was designed in the UK through a process that involved more than 100 experts across five continents.