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Sep 20, 2007 13:25 EEST
September 20 (SeeNews) - Bulgaria's leading water bottling company, Devin, owned by Austria's Soravia Group, plans to launch sales in Greece and Romania next year as part of its plan to expand in the southeast European region, Devin CEO said on Thursday.
Devin plans to nearly double its bottling capacity to 42,000 bottles per hour in April 2008, in which it will invest some 15 million levs ($10.8 million/7.7 million euro), Tsvetan Lazhanski told a news conference.
“The rise in output will allow us to enter other soft drink segments and to attack other markets. We are targeting Greece and Romania, (…) we are currently in talks with distributors (…) and our aim is to be actively present next year at least on one of these markets,” Lazhanski said.
Devin will finance part of the investment with funds it attracted through its initial public offering (IPO) on the stock exchange in Sofia, he added.
Devin raised 19.7 million levs in its IPO in July, which was more than 11 times oversubscribed.
The company has previously said it planned to acquire soft drink companies in the region and has already had talks in Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia.
Devin, which leads the bottled water market in Bulgaria with a share of over 30%, is 92%-owned by Soravia Equity, part of Austrian real estate developer Soravia, and the rest is owned by Devin managers.
Devin reported sales of 30.2 million levs for last year after some 22 million for 2005. The company’s conservative forecast is for sales to rise by 10% or 11% in each of the following five years and exceed 100 million levs in 2012.
It expects to turn to a 1.7 million lev net profit this year from a net loss of 4.7 million levs for 2006. The net profit is forecast to gradually grow over the next five years to reach some 10 million levs in 2012.
Devin bottles mineral and spring water. It also produces carbonated soft drinks, ice tea and sport drinks. Its key rivals in Bulgaria are Bankia, owned by the Greek bottling unit of Coca-Cola Company, and Gorna Bania.
(1 euro = 1.95583 Bulgarian levs)
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