Slovakia's largest pulp and paper producer, SCP Ruzomberok a.s., said on February 11 it had launched a 100% daughter trading unit in Prague to boost its exports to the Czech market.
SCP Bohemia s.r.o, Prague was formed from SCP's original representative office opened in Prague in 1997.
"In the last year, SCP sold more than 21,000 tonnes of its products on the Czech market, worth 572.6 million Czech crowns," SCP Ruzomberok said in a statement. A major part of SCP's sales in the Czech Republic consisted of graphic paper, the statement said.
However, the company did not offer any estimate for its 1999 exports to the Czech Republic and no one in SCP was immediately available to give further details.
The share of exports in the plant's production has increased significantly since early 1990s.
While exports accounted for only 27.2% of overall production in 1990, in 1997 they made up 70.4%, and in the first half of 1998 they were 75.25%. The company, which was privatised in 1996, exports mainly to western Europe - Germany, France and Italy.
The company said in January it was planning to invest more than 1.6 billion Slovak crowns ($42.3 million) this year, after investing some 3.1 billion Sk in 1998.
SCP expects 1998 revenues of 8.0 billion Sk, after 6.66 billion Sk in 1997. The company's pre-tax profit in the first half of 1998 rose to 443.33 million Sk from 267.46 million in the same period of 1997.
Currently, SCP produces about 250,000 tonnes of paper a year. The machinery investment programme is aimed at raising output by 100,000 tonnes of paper annually.
Two domestic companies own most of SCP. Eco invest a.s. owns 67% and Papko a.s. 30%.