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Solvay sees higher 2001 profit

Bulgaria“s soda ash producer Solvay-Sodi said in August that its net profit may be higher than expected this year after a return to profit in the first half due to a rise in sales and a weaker exchan…

Bulgaria“s soda ash producer Solvay-Sodi said in August that its net profit may be higher than expected this year after a return to profit in the first half due to a rise in sales and a weaker exchange rate. The plant, controlled by Belgian chemicals and drug group Solvay, Turkey“s glass and chemical maker Sisecam and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, had forecast a BGL 6 million net profit for 2001. Solvay-Sodi made a net profit of BGL 9.61 million in the six months to the end ofJune compared to a BGL 4.6 million loss in the same period in 2000, according to the company“s profit and loss account published on the State Securities Commission Web site. Solvay-Sodi“s net revenue from sales rose to BGL 101.7 million in the half-year, from BGL 78.3 million a year earlier. The Bulgarian lev, pegged to the Euro since 1999 under Bulgaria“s currency board system, had lost some 13% of its value against the dollar in the year ending in June, reflecting the Euro“s weakness against the US dollar. Solvay-Sodi exports some 80% of output to the European Union states, neighbouring Balkan countries, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa. A 28% rise in domestic sales and a 35% increase in exports helped the plant to reach BGL 7.86 million net profit in 2000, from BGL 22.54 million loss for 1999. Solvay-Sodi says it has a 3% share of the world“s market for soda ash, or sodium carbonate, a basic raw material used in glassmaking, some chemicals, detergents and other products.

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