Slovakia's largest pulp and paper producer, the Ružomberok-based SCP, said on March 30 its exports had increased by 14.2 percent last year and now represent 70.4 percent of its overall production. These figures prompted the Economy Ministry to award the company the title of best Slovak exporter in 1997.
Last year, the company exported 206,600 tons of various products worth 4.5 billion crowns ($128.5 million), SCP General Director Ján Liška said in a statement.
SCP's export performance has been improving steadily since 1990, when the firm exported 27.2 percent of its overall production. The company, privatized in 1996, exports mostly to western Europe, with 32 percent of exports going to Germany, 11 percent to France and 10.6 percent to Italy.
"The upward trend in exports will have to continue due to a faster rise in our capacity than in domestic consumption growth," said SCP Trade Director Peter Hlaváč.
The exported goods mix included graphical offset paper, special-shaped paper and a variety of note pads and exercise books.
SCP has a five billion crown investment program which includes reconstruction of several paper-processing machines and environmental investments. The machinery investment program is aimed at raising the company's output by 100,000 tons of paper annually. Currently, SCP produces about 250,000 tons of paper a year.
The company's full 1997 financial results are not yet available, but company officials said in January they expected pre-tax profit to rise to around 350 million crowns after 309 million in 1996, with revenues increasing to 6.6 billion crowns from 6.1 billion in 1996.
The company is 67-percent owned by Eco Invest and Papko, both domestic firms.