Foreign markets to help Neochimiki up group sales

Listed chemical group Neochimiki plans to increase its exposure in international markets, such as China and Russia, in a bid to increase its revenues from foreign operations to more than three-quarters of group sales, according to its chairman Lavrentis Lavrentiadis. Lavrentiadis said the group aims to increase consolidated revenues from abroad to 80 percent of total sales over the next five years from 30 percent currently. Neochimiki, which has been showing solid growth rates in the last few years, expects 2007 group revenues to jump 90 percent year-on-year to -860 million. Asked whether company expansion plans will involve buyouts, Lavrentiadis responded that acquisitions are a part Neochimiki’s business operations. The group, already active in more than 18 countries, is eyeing additional market shares in Turkey, Egypt, China, Libya and Russia. «The Russian market is the next big challenge, the existing business cooperation with Lukoil being a major step in this direction, while the eastern Mediterranean and north Africa are also in future business plans,» the company said. The targeted increase in group sales will transform Neochimiki into one of Greece’s leading international companies, as most revenues will come from abroad. Analysts believe that Neochimiki’s focus on chemical business in Southeastern Europe is likely to yield major economies of scale with demand for chemicals accelerating in the region. Neochimiki, whose shares are traded on the Athens bourse, has a market value of some -806 million.