FOREIGN MARKETS BENEVOLENT TO NEOCHIM
The Dimitrovgrad-based Neochim company ended the first half of 2004 at a BGN4.6MN profit. The result exceeds by BGN1MN the profit reported for the same period of 2003. Sales revenues are up by BGN16.8MN to BGN94.5MN. Since Neochim shareholders have not distributed dividends so far, the accumulated profit of the company already reaches BGN56MN.Neochim produces nitrogen and ammonia fertilizers. It is the only enterprise in Bulgaria which products list includes formalin, sodium nitrate, sodium nitride, and laughing gas. According to Tosho Dimov, member of Neochim Board of Directors, the improved financial results are due to the increased prices of the plant's products on the international market. BGN54.8MN have been added to the accounts due to export, while domestic sales amount to BGN36MN. Ammonium nitrate and ammonia which is sold mainly abroad are most attractive to consumers.By end-September the company is planning to have invested EUR6MN in the modernisation of its ammonia production as part of an EUR9MN investment program, entirely financed by BULBANK. The second EUR3MN tranche will be used for installation of a turbogenerator. The tranche will be utilized next year. The loan will be redeemed from June 2005 to December 2008.Currently, Neochim owns lands with a BGN3.9MN balance-sheet value, BGN13.3MN worth buildings, BGN36.7MN equipment and machinery, as well as vehicles worth BGN2.9MN. The chemical combine has six subsidiaries in Bulgaria - Neochim Engineering EOOD, Chemist EOOD, Neochim Tour EOOD, Neochim Catering EOOD, Neochim Protect EOOD, Trakya Press XXI Century EOOD, as well as two trade companies in Turkey.Its shares are distributed among the Dimitrovgrad-based Euro Fert company (owner of a 48.36% stake), the Lebanese Karifert International (15.82%), Agrofer International Establishment-Liechtenstein (7.68%), Albena Invest Holding (6.38%). The remaining shares are held by small shareholders. Agrofer International Establishment is Neochim's newest shareholder. It acquired a stake in the fertilizer plant from the Sofia-based PPS Imoti through a transaction on the stock exchange in late May.Last week the shares of Neochim reached their five-year record level and were traded at BGN8.98 per share. According to some market participants, the price growth came due to the expected very good first-half financial results. Rumours also spread about a signed two-year agreement for delivery of production. A potential sale of the company was among the alternatives, too. Anyway, this week the shares of the company got stable around BGN8.88 per share.