Vitro looking for growth in construction sales

Mexican glassmaker Vitro will make efforts in 2003 to improve sales to the construction industry and complete a financial restructuring, according to a highly-placed source in the company.
Vitro wil…

Mexican glassmaker Vitro will make efforts in 2003 to improve sales to the construction industry and complete a financial restructuring, according to a highly-placed source in the company. Vitro will focus on its strategic flat glass division, which generates nearly 55% of the company“s revenues, and where increased demand is anticipated as a result of a Mexican federal government promise to spend more on social housing. President Vicente Fox is planning to authorize 300,000 mortgages for low-income workers in 2003, compared with 275,000 the year before. Vitro, which is also involved in flat glass for the automotive industry and drink containers, has reorganized and sold non-core operations over the past few years. In 2003 the company is to invest USD 37 million in a glass manufacturing plant in the city of Mexicali in northern Mexico to boost its business in the United States, where it makes 42% of its foreign sales. Vitro will spend another USD 104 million on investment in 2003, the source said. Although demand from the US construction industry is not expected to grow in 2003, sales to that sector should stay close to USD 450 million, according to the source. New sources of financing and the aggressive debt restructuring carried out over the past two years will help Vitro reduce its costs in 2003, he said.