ECONOMY

Korres ready for ASE debut to expand and develop item range

The Korres Natural Products company is set to be listed on the Athens bourse, as indicated by its application lodged last week for entry into the stock market’s small- and middle-capitalization category. P&K has been appointed the upcoming listing’s consulting firm, with Alpha Bank as the lead manager. Korres Natural Products is planning to issue 1,600,000 new shares, of which 75,000 will be privately placed. According to the firm’s CEO, Giorgos Korres, capital to be raised will be injected into efforts to improve sales. The plan includes improving the company’s existing distribution network and promotional campaign, continued research and development for new products, increasing production capacity, and the launch of a new product, Kings & Queens, to be widely distributed. According to sources, Korres Natural Products expects to raise between 8 and 10 million euros in capital from the listing. Commenting on the firm’s financial performance for the three-year period between 2003 and 2005, Panayiotis Spyropoulos, the vice president and general manager, noted that turnover doubled to reach 17.1 million euros. The firm’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) figure and net pre-tax profit grew at similar rates, amounting to 3.2 million and 2 million euros respectively last year. In an announcement, the company attributed these improved figures to growth in company exports, which represented nearly 20 percent of the firm’s total turnover in 2005. At present, Korres Natural Products exports to the USA, Canada, 15 European regions, Russia, the Middle East, as well as several Asian markets. The Greek firm operates six freestanding stores in London, Barcelona, Lisbon, Bucharest and Helsinki. In coming months, the firm plans to add a further seven outlets to the list, including in New York City’s Soho district.