Italy's El.En. CEO says looking to expand in China

MILAN Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:15am EST

MILAN Nov 22 (Reuters) - Italian laser manufacturer El.En. expects its business to grow further next year as it looks to expand in China in the medical laser sector, the company's chief executive told Reuters on Thursday.

"We are counting on China a lot in the medical sector. It's becoming a rich country and there is potential we have not yet fully explored," Andrea Cangioli said in an interview.

China is expected to boost its health-sector spending in coming years, attracting foreign investors.

El.En., one of Europe's leading manufacturers of industrial and medical laser systems, will also seek to strengthen its position in the U.S. market and Brazil.

"In the U.S. we need to strengthen our distribution network, independent of Cynosure," Cangioli said.

The Florence-based El.En. has a controlling stake in U.S. laser-making company Cynosure but will be selling down its stake to 13 percent in a capital increase under way.

The company will make a significant capital gain from the operation and Cangioli indicated this could feed through to the dividend.

"We have always remunerated shareholders on our results. I do not promise to pay one (dividend) but company policy has always been to distribute one when we have profits," he said.

In the first nine months to September El.En. saw a 30 percent growth in its sales to 191 million euros.

"We are counting on a much better fourth quarter than last year," Cangioli said.

He confirmed a 10 percent growth in sales for 2012. "I would be disappointed if we were not able to continue the rising trend," he said.

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