Sarajevo Tobacco Factory

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Sarajevo Tobacco Factory
Industry Tobacco
Founded 1880
Headquarters Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Products Cigarettes
Number of employees
2,000 (2007)

Sarajevo Tobacco Factory (Bosnian: Fabrika duhana Sarajevo or FDS) is a cigarette-producing factory in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its headquarters is in Sarajevo with branches in Bihać, Tuzla, Čitluk and Banja Luka as well as in Skopje in the Republic of Macedonia and Belgrade in Serbia. The factory produces the AurA Extra, AurA lights, AurA super lights, Drina denifine, Drina jedina bijela, Drina jedina zlatna, Drina lights, Drina super lights, Tigra medium, Code and 8 (Eight) brands until No Tobacco on January 2008.


The Sarajevo Tobacco Factory was founded in 1880, only two years after the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1878. FDS was one of the first four industries in Bosnia and Herzegovina. For eighty years FDS was located in Marijin Dvor, nowadays a center of the city. At the very beginning, FDS consisted of only two buildings – production and administration. As the production grew, the FDS complex became larger. It was finally formed in 1891, when the last of ten buildings was constructed. This situation remained until the middle of the last century. [1]

As the complex of FDS became larger, the number of employees also increased. In that early stage, it was mostly unskilled female labor. The first products of FDS were the cut tobacco packets produced manually in the device called “avan”. Tobacco used for these packets was of a different grade and the packets were also different. During the Austro-Hungarian period, this product was exported.

The production of cigarettes started in 1882. They were produced manually until 1905 when the first automatic cigarette maker was obtained. By the beginning of World War I, FDS marketed 23 brands. They were packed in boxes made of wood, tin and cardboard. The smallest packet contained five and the largest one hundred cigarettes.

FDS stagnated between the two world wars, specially in respect to its equipment. Still, during that period 55 different machines were provided, some of them intended for fabrication of the cut tobacco packets and cigarettes and the rest were machine tools for the workshop. The production and packing of the cut tobacco and several brands of oval and round cigarettes continued also in this period. Cigarettes were packed in packets of 100 and even 500.

At the very beginning of the World War II the cut tobacco production decreased due to lower market demand. In this period, cigarette production also varied from year to year. During the war, FDS did not stop production, but it was dictated by the occupier. Ever since its foundation, for more than one century now, FDS has experienced many turbulent periods caused by the change of government and different social and political systems, but it has never stopped operating and producing.

FDS achieved success, not only in the market of SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also abroad including Egypt, Russia, Turkey and Japan.

The need to extend and modernize the existing facilities resulted in a decision to construct a new factory complex in 1960. The new factory was built in the Pofalići area, occupying approximately 40 000 m². The complex consisted of several buildings and reached its final appearance in 1971, when the construction was completed. Construction was completely financed by the employees of FDS, setting a precedent at that time and in such an environment.

The policy of FDS was to rely on its own labor. In 1946, the first machine (an automatic carton cutting machine) was constructed. Those machines, invented and constructed by the employees of FDS, were used in FDS and also sold to other companies in the former Yugoslavia. The machines designed in FDS, among others, are Glibo I, Glibo II, Glibo III, Glibo IV and Glibo V. Today, the machines are primarily important as museum pieces, as they indicate the technological process in the factory.

The period from 1971 is characterized by the modernization activities. New, modern equipment was provided intended to meet new technologies in the production of cigarettes. In that way the factory became one of the most modern tobacco plants in Europe and a leader in the area of former Yugoslavia. All the activities intended for the upgrade of the production process and education of the employees resulted in the signing of a contract with the world known company Philip Morris to make Marlboro cigarettes in 1970. Implementation of this contract started in 1971 and was successful until 1992, when it was broken up due to the war.

In the history of FDS, several periods may be identified. The first was the Austro-Hungarian period, when the Factory operated to meet the requirements of the ruling Austro-Hungarian authorities. The second is the period of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, when the Factory considerably stagnated due to the monopolistic treatment by authorities from Belgrade. The third important period is after the Second World War, when FDS recorded very good business results regardless of frequent unfavorable working conditions. During this period, which lasted for almost fifty years, FDS became materially a very strong factory and employed highly skilled workers who managed to keep up with European and world trends in the tobacco industry. [2]

The most difficult period for Fabrika duhana Sarajevo was the war time, from 1992 to 1995. Although severely damaged, Fabrika duhana Sarajevo did not stop production.

The brands produced by FDS until now are: Damen, Hercegovina, Bosna, Guslar, Drina, Sarajevo, Mostar, Neretva, Štefanija, Foča, Flor, Vrbas, Morava, Sarajka, Start, Sutjestka, Zeta, Internacional, Ibar, Drava, Morava-crvena, Drina-denifine, Lara, Skend, Marlboro, Bond, Alfa, Sedef, Specijal, Wind, Bosnae, Drina jedina bijela, Drina jedina bijela, Drina jedina zlatna, Drina lights, Drina super lights, AurA extra, AurA lights, AurA super lights, Tigra medium, Multi Nova, Code and 8 (Eight).


  1. ^ "Sarajevo Tobacco Factory - History". Retrieved 14 August 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sarajevo Tobacco Factory - Chronology". Retrieved 14 August 2015. 

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