Slovenian retailer plans investment across FYROM

LJUBLJANA (SeeNews) – Engrotus, the third-largest retailer in Slovenia, said yesterday it plans to open at least 20 shopping malls and a logistics hub in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over a three-year period under a 61-million-euro expansion plan unveiled last year. Engrotus plans to build shopping centers in Skopje, Tetovo, Gostivar, Kicevo, Ohrid, Struga, Bitola, Prilep, Gevgelija, Strumica, Shtip, Kumanovo, Veles, Kavadarci and Negotino, the company said in a statement. In June 2005, Engrotus proposed to the FYROM government a 61-million-euro project for the building of an entertainment center, a logistics hub and shopping centers, consisting of supermarkets, filling stations and parking lots, in the ex-Yugoslav republic. Engrotus said last month the FYROM government has endorsed the sale of plots of land in Shtip, Negotino, Bogdanci and Kocani for the construction of buildings that are part of the project. The Slovenian company has pledged to employ 900 FYROM citizens in its future retail network and hire domestic companies as subcontractors for works worth some 44 million euros. Engrotus expects a 2005 net profit of 3.9 billion tolars (16.3 million euros), up from 2.6 billion tolars in 2004, due to the expansion of its retail network and marketing activities.

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