Slovakia's largest pulp and paper producer, SCP Ružomberok a.s., said on May 22 that its 1997 pre-tax profit had increased to 322.8 million Sk ($9.49 million) from 309.5 million in the previous year.
SCP's overall revenues rose to 6.66 billion Sk in 1997 from 6.09 billion a year before, the company said in a statement, adding it plans to increase its revenues to 7.2 billion Sk in 1998. That would put estimated net profit at 500 million Sk.
"The company posted these favorable results despite a decrease in the price of pulp and graphic paper on the European market in the first half of 1997," the statement said.
Earlier this year, the company said it had increased exports by 14.2% in 1997. Last year, SCP exported 206,600 tons of various products worth 4.5 billion Sk, accounting for 70.4% of overall production. The main exported goods include offset paper, special-shaped paper and a variety of note pads and exercise books.
"We want to strengthen SCP's position on the European market this year by developing our network of daughter organizations in Europe," the statement said. Currently, SCP has representative offices in Zagreb, Prague, Kiev, Belgrade and Moscow.
Privatized in 1996, SCP now exports mainly to western Europe, with 32% of exports going to Germany, 11% to France and 10.6% to Italy.
SCP has introduced a five billion crown investment program, which includes the reconstruction of several paper-processing machines and various ecological investments. The machinery investment program is aimed at raising output by 100,000 tons of paper annually. Currently, SCP produces about 250,000 tons of paper a year.
The company is 67% owned by Eco invest a.s. and 30% by Papko a.s., both domestic firms.
4. Jun 1998 at 0:00 | Reuters