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CORPORATE BRIEFS

Slovak paper producer SCP's exports rise in 1998

Slovakia's largest pulp and paper producer, SCP Ružomberok a.s., said on May 4 it had increased its share of exports on total production to 75.2% in 1998, up from 70.4% the year before.

In 1998, the company exported 219,000 tonnes of paper and paper goods worth 5.7 billion Slovak crowns ($134.3 million), SCP's general director Ján Liska said in a statement. "The share of exports should this year be maintained at last year's level and should increase again in 2000, after the seventh paper processor goes on stream after a reconstruction," he said.

In February, SCP started the reconstruction of its seventh paper processor at an overall cost of some 60 million marks. The company raised 47.4 million marks of this through a syndicated loan arranged by Citibank N.V. London, the statement said.

The reconstruction should increase the processor's output to slightly more than 100,000 tonnes of paper annually, from the previous 46,000 tonnes.

Earlier this year, SCP said its 1998 pre-tax profit rose to 401.8 million crowns from 321.9 million in 1997, according to preliminary unaudited data. The company almost doubled its operating profit in 1998, to 821.1 million crowns from 489.3 million.Total revenues in 1998 increased to 7.55 billion crowns from 6.64 billion crowns.

The largest stakes in SCP are held by two domestic companies, Eco invest a.s. with 67% and Papko a.s. with 30%.

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