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Nov 07, 2007 17:25 EEST
ZAGREB (Croatia), November 7 (SeeNews) – Croatia’s biggest car trader AutoZubak, which sells the brands of the VW group, plans a rise of some 5.0% rise in wholesale revenue and a 10% growth of retail sales this year, its owner Pavo Zubak said.
The company posted 2.4 billion kuna ($470 million/327 million euro) in wholesale revenue and 900 million kuna in retail sales last year, Zubak told SeeNews in a recent interview.
He disclosed no profit or loss figures.
The AutoZubak group consists of car wholsale company P.Z.Auto, retail and maintenance firms and a drivers training school, AMC. AutoZubak and Austrian Porsche Holding own 50% each of P.Z.Auto, which is the general representative in Croatia for the brands of the German Volkswagen Group - Volkswagen, Audi, Seat, Skoda and Porsche.
Zubak said that AutoZubak group holds 22% of the automotive wholesale market in Croatia and aims to raise its share to 25% in the next five to six years.
In the retail segment, Autozubak plans to have a share of more than 5.0% this year.
“Our growth in the last few years has outperformed both the wholesale and the retail markets,” he added without elaborating.
New passenger car sales in Croatia rose by 11.6% to 78,755 in 2006, after rising 1.35% in 2005. Sales are expected to grow by 2.0% this year, market research agency Promocija Plus said earlier. Last year, Volkswagen ranked the third best selling brand in the Adriatic country with 7,727 vehicles sold, or 9.81% of the market.
“The [wholesale] market has stabilised at around 70,000 cars a year and in the next five to seven years I expect it to rise to some 100,000,” Zubak said. There are some 1.3 million cars in the country of 4.4 million people and a significant part of them are more than 10 years old.
“If the annual market growth is below 10%, the car park will get older and older,” Zubak added.
AMC has recently invested 50 million kuna into opening its first training centre, near Zagreb, where it improves the skills of experienced car drivers to manage their vehicles in risky conditions. Next year it will open two training centres. One of them worth 50 million kuna will be opened in Split, on the southern Croatian Adriatic coast, and another one worth 30 to 40 million kuna will be opened in Osijek, in eastern Croatia.
The company is financing 70% of these investments from its own sourcers and covers the rest from bank loans. The AutoZubak group invests 70 to 100 million kuna yearly.
“Usually the return on investments that AutoZubak makes comes after seven to 10 years. However, in the AMC segment we expect the first returns after 10 to 15 years, because it it a new project and concerns a less profitable business,” he added. So far, the Autozubak group has no plans to go public.
“I think that companies that have not reached their maximum value should not go to the bourse and therefore, regardless that we have a 30-year history, we are still far from reaching our maximum value,” Zubak said.
(1 euro=7.3509 Croatian kuna)
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