Uflex assigns $250 mn for growth, eyes $2-bn revenue by 2015

September 6th, 2012 - 2:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Cairo, Sep 6 (IANS) With over a quarter of a billion dollars earmarked for greenfield projects and capacity expansion over the next couple of years, home-grown flexible packaging major Uflex is targeting to double revenues to over $2 billion by 2015.

With a plant on the outskirts of this city running at near capacity, a new one in Poland operating since July and another set to go on stream in the US by year-end, Uflex has also set its eyes on becoming the third-largest polyester film maker in the world.

This, after the company’s next unit becomes operational in Kentucky by end-2012, Uflex group president for corporate finance R.K. Jain told IANS during a visit to the group’s sprawling facility in an industrial estate outside Cairo.

“Our investment will be funded by internal generation and debt,” Jain said, adding that the group’s wholly-owned overseas arms were able to access cheaper funds. “We borrow in dollars, repay in dollars - no hedging required.”

Though all its overseas ventures have been greenfield projects, the group is not averse to acquisitions for expansion. “We have no problems about taking the acquisitions route as long as there is a financial, cultural and, most importantly, a strategic fit.”

The company had last year unsuccessfully bid for global heavyweight DuPont’s polyester films business. Apart form its manufacturing base in India, Uflex today has facilities up and running in Dubai, Mexico, Egypt and Poland.

The company has so far invested $135 million on its Egyptian plant, which has emerged as its largest operation after India, said Regie Paul, the chief executive here. Last year, it added 42,000 tonnes per annum capacity in Egypt, he added.

Officials said each of the units is strategically located and serves key markets. The facility in Egypt, for example, has pacts with the Gulf countries and also caters to southern Europe and Africa, the Middle East, West Asia and the CIS countries.

The Mexican facility, by virtue of the country’s membership of the North American Free Trade Agreement, has access to markets there, especially the US. It also supplies to Latin America. The plant in Poland focuses on the northern European markets.

Uflex, which was promoted by first-generation entrepreneur Ashok Chaturvedi in 1983, closed the last fiscal with a growth of 30 percent in net revenues at Rs.4,543 crore, up from Rs.3,540 crore, thanks largely to a favourable demand trend globally.

Jain attributed the strong showing to the company’s “focus on operational excellence”. This, he said, allowed it to function at much higher efficiencies when compared to rivals. “We are innovating with processes for the best results.”

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