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Retal Baltic Films expands in the specialized FlexStart 2 building

15 Nov 2022

Packaging manufacturer Retal Baltic Films is investing EUR 4.5 million in a new production line for food-grade APET film at its existing premises, and relocating part of the bottle cap production lines to the specialized production building FlexStart 2, which is being completed in the Klaipeda Free Economic Zone (FEZ). The decision to lease additional premises in the vicinity will allow the company to bring sustainable packaging products that meet customers’ expectations to the market faster. 

Retal Baltic Films, a manufacturer of food-grade APET film and bottle caps operating in Klaipeda FEZ since 2003, modernised one of its film production lines in 2020, which resulted in a 30% increase in sales last year. To meet the continued growth in demand for safe and sustainable packaging, the company has decided to invest this year in a brand new, additional film production line, which will allow it to produce 25% more, achieve greater production and energy efficiency and, most importantly, offer packaging solutions with up to 100% recycled material, which are increasingly demanded by the market.

According to Viktorija Grižienė, CEO of Retal Baltic Films, the expansion of the film production capacity was already planned at the beginning of the year, and the company is now entering an active phase of the investment, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2023. However, the company has recently taken the strategic decision to expand not in its own premises, but to move part of its operations for the first time to the FlexStart 2 flexible production building being developed nearby by the Klaipeda FEZ management company.

“We already lacked the necessary production space. We considered expansion or new buildings of our own, but the most efficient and quickest solution was to rent 1850 sqm of production space in the FlexStart 2 building. Within a few months, we will move some of the existing HDPE cap lines into this space, so that we can concentrate all film production, including the future line, in one building,” comments V. Grižienė.

Retal Baltic Films’ bottle cap production was stable last year. The company continues to invest in the next generation of sustainable design solutions for bottle caps, but the whole segment has been constrained by the decline in tourism since the pandemic. For its part, the film business has been driven by increased demand for food safety since the pandemic.

According to Eimantas Kiudulas, CEO of Klaipeda FEZ, the decision of Retal Baltic Films to lease additional premises instead of developing its own infrastructure illustrates the variety of opportunities for investors created by FlexStart buildings.

“When we launched FlexStart 1 on the market more than 5 years ago, we saw a clear problem: every month saved is crucial for new investors. So while FlexStart buildings were primarily developed with new investors in mind, today we can see the additional value of FlexStart buildings – the ability to expand quickly for the existing Klaipeda FEZ investor community. On the other hand, despite the current uncertainties, we have potential clients, and we expect to sign at least a couple more investment agreements by the end of the year. Crises bring out new ideas”, says Kiudulas.

The Klaipeda FEZ Management Company started to develop the first FlexStart 1 building with an area of 7,400 sqm back in 2017 and it was immediately fully leased to Lithuanian and foreign investors. The project received the world’s first FDI Intelligence award for quick launch. The second 7,700 sqm FlexStart 2 building is currently being finalised. 

In 2021, Retal Baltic Films had a turnover of EUR 56.7 million, an increase of 21.5% from the previous year. The company mainly exports to Switzerland, Germany, Poland, France, Sweden and Finland, with sales in Lithuania accounting for around 5% last year. The company employs around 200 people. Retal Baltic Films has a laboratory in Klaipeda for the development and testing of new products, which is also available to professionals from other companies or academics.

Retal Baltic Films is a member of the international group RETAL Industries, which also owns PET producer NEO GROUP, and Retal Lithuania, a manufacturer of PET preforms.

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