November 12, 2009 / 11:30 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 1-Egis sees 2010 sales up 1-2 pct, Turkey in focus

* Russian exports seen up 5-10 pct in 2010

* Sees Turkey as third biggest market in two to three years

* Open to acquire production firm but no target in sight

(Adds further details)

BUDAPEST, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Hungarian drug producer Egis EGIS.BU expects its overall sales revenue to rise by 1-2 percent in forints in fiscal 2010 and expects Turkey to become one of its top markets within three years, its chief financial officer said on Thursday.

Domestic sales are seen rising by around 5 percent in the fiscal year that started on Oct 1, while sales in Russia, the company’s biggest export market are seen up by 5-10 percent in dollars, Laszlo Marosffy told a news conference.

“These targets are in line with the figures I provided three months ago, our thinking hasn’t changed significantly from the last quarter,” Marosffy said.

Marosffy added that the company will continue to invest heavily in its Turkish subsidiary and the losses it generated in fiscal 2009 would be erased within two years.

“This is a very attractive market ... and we want to make this our third biggest market after Russia and Poland,” Marosffy said. “We hope to do this in two to three years.”

Marosffy said that the firm remains on the lookout for acquisition opportunities but has no specific plans and currently sees no potential targets.

He added that Egis is on the lookout for production firms active in its current markets that will complement its production portfolio but are smaller than Egis itself.

In Central Europe sales are expected to rise by 8 percent in euros in 2010 while sales in the former Soviet Union, excluding Russia, are expected to rise by 8 to 10 percent in dollars.

Although the firm has pencilled in 20 percent growth in Ukraine, Marosffy said the target is uncertain as the country remains in a deep recession and its economic troubles continue.

“This is one of our most uncertain targets,” Marosffy said.

Marosffy said that Egis planned to spend around 12 billion to 13 billion forints ($66-72 million) a year on capital expenditure in the coming years but may invest in a new active ingredient production unit which may result in higher spending in the coming three years.

“If we make this decision and spending rises over the next three years, that means lower spending thereafter,” Marosffy said. ($1=180.56 Hungarian forints (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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