Hungary's Hell Energy takes on export markets

Hungary's Hell Energy takes on export markets
Hungarian energy drink producer Hell Energy signed up Bruce Willis for its ad campaign.
By Levente Szilagyi in Budapest July 17, 2018

Hungarian-owned energy drink maker Hell Energy, the maker of the brand with the same name, has become the second largest soft-drink maker in Hungary after Coca-Cola and is rapidly expanding abroad, local media reported on July 16. The company launched an ad campaign with Bruce Willis in 50 countries earlier this year.

Hell Energy started in 2006 as a family-owned business and within just three years had become the market leader in the domestic segment, beating multinational rivals. It is also one of the most vigorously evolving FMCG brands on global markets. 

Its production units are located in the northern Hungarian town of Szikszo with a population of just over 5,000. Besides Hungary, the company has offices in Romania, the UK, Russia and Cyprus.

Since the inauguration of a state-of-the-art bottling factory in 2011, Hell Energy has brought the full production process under its own supervision. In 2017 it opened a 42,000 m2 plant with a capacity to produce 48,000 cans an hour from a HUF30bn (€931mn) investment, including a HUF7bn subsidy from the state which enables it to export cans for other manufacturers. Over the years, the company has opened new logistics facilities.

Hell Energy became the first Hungarian brand with an advertising contract with an A-list Hollywood actor when it signed up action movie star Bruce Willis for an ad campaign, launched this spring in 50 countries and on social media.

With the campaign, Hells Energy seeks to strengthen its presence abroad. It has seen its revenue rise exponentially over the past five years. In 2013 it generated HUF4bn in sales, which has risen to HUF34bn last year, of which HUF18.5bn came from exports, a 40% annual growth. At present, it sells to 50 countries including Angola, Chile, Cameron, Cambodia and India.

In some countries, it is the top energy drink seller. In Azerbaijan, it controls 60% of the market, in Bulgaria and Greece it has a 37% share, and it is the top choice for consumers in Romania and Croatia as well. 

In Hungary, Hell Energy is the second-largest player in the wider soft-drink market after Coca-Cola, which reported HUF116.4bn in revenue and a HUF7.6bn in after-tax profit in 2017. In comparison, the Hungarian-owned business booked an after-tax profit of HUF2.3bn last year.