BULGARTABAK HOLDING PROFIT DOUBLES
The net profit of Bulgartabak Holding , which controls Bulgaria's state tobacco monopoly Bulgartabak, nearly doubled in 2000, Reuters informed. The agency cited figures from State Securities Commission.
The holding company, which controls 22 factories, including three in Russia and two in Ukraine and Romania, made 11.7 million levs ($5.4 million) in net profit for 2000, up from 5.303 million for 1999. Company officials were not immediately available to comment. Bulgartabak, which is slated for privatization, said earlier this year it saw group consolidated net profit for 2000 at 44.969 million levs, up from 25 million levs in 1999, due to reduced operation costs, upgraded production and aggressive marketing strategy.
Bulgartabak has said it sold 22,880 tons of cigarettes last year, up 6.13 percent from 1999. Its exports rose by 2,373 tons or 35.8 percent in 2000.
Consolidated results of the group, one of the few lucrative assets remaining in state hands, will be available later this year. Last year, the government cancelled a tender for 51 percent of Bulgartabak that failed to attract bids. The government maps a privatization strategy for the group, under which it could be split into separate businesses to be offered to investors separately.