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BUCHAREST (Romania), October 12 (SeeNews) - Romanian plastic products manufacturer Teraplast Group [BSE:TRP] said on Thursday it has opened its TeraSteel sandwich panels factory in Serbia.
The Romanian company has invested 11 million euro ($13 million) in the factory, Dragan Stevanovic, state secretary at Serbia's economy ministry, said in a video file posted on the website of Serbian news agency Tanjug.
The equipment for the factory's production line was delivered by Italian company Bradbury Group Pu.Ma. and the line needs only five employees per shift to operate, the executive director of TeraSteel Serbia, Goran Cvijanovic, said during the official ceremony for the opening of the factory.
Teraplast bought Serbian sandwich panel producer Interlemind and its factory for 4.3 million euro in June. The production facility, located in the southern Serbian city of Leskovac, has a production capacity of 2.2 million sq m of sandwich panels per year, Teraplast said in a press release on Thursday.
The group plans to invest 2.7 million euro in the factory's development and to provide 4 million euro of working capital by the end of the year.
This is the first factory opened outside Romania by Teraplast after 1990 and fully owned by the Romanian company, Teraplast added.
Sandwich panels are used in the construction of industrial buildings, such as halls, warehouses, shopping centres and cold stores.
"We are targeting sales of 28 million euro for TeraSteel Serbia in 2018," Dorel Goia, chairman of Teraplast board of directors, said.
Most of the panels produced at the plant will sell on the Serbian market, while some will be exported to other countries in the Balkan region, Goia added. TeraSteel Serbia will mainly serve countries such as Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia, Croatia and Montenegro, as well as secondary markets such as Hungary, southern Romania and northern Greece.
"Leskovac once again showed that it is a city capable of attracting investment. A satisfied investor will always attract other potential investors, so we will ensure that TeraSteel will benefit from all the necessary conditions for the activity in our city," Leskovac mayor Goran Cvetanovic said.
Earlier in October, Romania's anti-trust regulator approved the takeover of plastic products manufacturer Politub by Teraplast. The agreement for the takeover was signed for an undisclosed sum in August.
In September, the group increased its planned 2017 investment by 14% to 96 million lei ($25 million/21 million euro). Teraplast sought the hike due to the multiple acquisitions made by the company in the first half of the year.
In June, Teraplast acquired a further 10% of Romanian roof tiles maker Depaco, boosting its stake in the company to 60%.
Teraplast's first-half net profit dropped 59% on the year to 7.89 million lei due to stagnation in infrastructure investments and client insolvency. Turnover fell 11% on the year to 171.6 million lei in the six months through June, as sales in the infrastructure field halved compared to the same period last year.
(1 euro=4.5854 lei)