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IT company "Atea" to invest LVL 9.8 million in Latvia and create 600 new jobs

 RIGA, Feb 11 - Nordic IT infrastructure company "Atea" is planning to invest more than EUR 14 million in expanding its service center in Riga, creating 600 new jobs in the coming years, as the company's representatives announced during a press conference today.

"Atea" Executive Senior Vice President Peter Trans said that the number of employees at the "Atea Global Services" center in Riga had increased from about 80 to 220, and the center will hire 150 to 200 specialists more in 2013. By 2015, "Atea" hopes to create 600 new jobs in Latvia, said Trans.

Nicolas Albana, executive director at "Atea Global Services" Latvian branch, told "Nozare.lv" that the company would also hire accounting and administrative personnel so the Riga center could start providing new services.

At the moment, "Atea" experts in Riga service thousands of computerized work stations in Scandinavia, providing information system supervision, remote software maintenance and help service, said Albana.

"Atea" investments in Latvia were arranged with the help of Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIDA) as well as involvement of Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis (Unity), said "Atea" President and CEO Claus Hougesen.

"I turned to "Atea" representatives in person to inform them about the advantages offered by Latvia," Dombrovskis told the press conference. New jobs can be created in Latvia in not just manufacturing but also in sectors providing specialized services. Servicing business processes is a major industry in Europe, and the development of the industry in Latvia may help reduce emigration and maybe even win back local experts.

Salaries paid at "Atea" will be "above average", which is in line with the LIDA's "Polaris process" used for attracting investments to Latvia.

"Atea" currently employs more than 6300 people, of which 3500 work on support for IT systems.

Expansion in Latvia is part of "Atea's" intention to increase turnover by 50 percent and profit by 100 percent in the coming years, said Hougesen. According to "Atea" report, the company's turnover last year amounted to NOK 20 billion (LVL 1.89 billion), and earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization to NOK 822 million (LVL 77.76 million). "Atea Global Services" subsidiary in Latvia was established in 2006.
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