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Dec 04, 2007 14:32 EEST
December 4 (SeeNews) - Austrian real estate developer ECO Business-Immobilien is planning to enter the markets of European Union newcomers Bulgaria and Romania as part of its expansion strategy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the company said.
"In addition to the expansion of its business property portfolio in its core Austrian and German markets, ECO is looking to boost growth further with investments in development projects in Eastern Europe," the company said in a statement released on Monday.
The real estate firm has already made its first expansion step in the region by launching a 18.1 million euro ($26.7 million) investment in an office centre in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia.
"Further projects are currently undergoing appraisal in Ukraine, Bulgaria and Romania, with investments amounting to some 150 million planned for the region in the medium term," the company said in a statement. "The coming months will see investments of around 300 million euro in the core Austrian and German markets," it added.
The company targets average returns on developed real estate investments in Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria of no less than 8.0%, with a target of 12% for development project investments.
With the new investments, the company's total value of projects in Austria, Germany and the CEE region is expected to exceed 1.0 billion euro. ECO's property portfolio was estimated at 755.5 million euro at the end of the first nine months of the year. Besides Ukraine, the company is already represented in the Czech Republic and Hungary.
The company, which is listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange, posted a 98% year-on-year rise in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) to 40.8 million for the first nine months of the current year.
($ = 0.6784 euro)
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