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Zalakerámia delays planned Ft 1 bln development

The board of Hungarian tile maker Zalakerámia has decided to postpone technical developments worth more than Ft 1 bln planned at the company's plants in Romhány, and Tófej (SW Hungary), CEO Péter Marton told MTI on Tuesday.

Zalakerámia announced in September plans to spend Ft 1 billion on doubling the capacity at its plant in Romhány, north of Budapest from the current 1.9 million square meters per year, as well as to rebuild its plant in Tófej. Now, the company will instead meet increased demand by regrouping its capacity within the company, and by boosting capacity at the Tófej plant by 800,000 square meters, or 20%, Marton said. Marton said they decided to temporarily suspend the technical developments to focus on a short-term strategy to meet changing market demand and, to a lesser extent, because of financial reasons. Zalakerámia said in September it would pay for the investments mostly with loans. Production of the Tófej plant will exceed 4 million square meters by February at the latest, Marton said. Zalakerámia will introduce new designs and a wider range of sizes for its existing 40-product family. Zalakerámia shares were delisted from the Budapest Stock (BÉT) in August 2005 after a buyout by its Austrian majority owner Lasselsberger. (Mti-Eco)