08 March 2005 14:56 [Source: ICIS news]
DUSSELDORF, Germany (CNI)--German specialty chemicals company Degussa pledged here on Tuesday to continue investment in its German plants but stressed that it could not ignore growth markets such as China.
Chairman Utz-Hellmuth Felcht said here at the annual results press conference that Degussa was not in the business of exporting jobs, nor are its "plants built on wheels".
He added: "We will continue to look critically at our plants in Germany and invest to maintain them, but we must also look at growth markets."
Felcht pointed out that 60% of the company's assets and production was in Germany, but only 25% of sales.
"There is fear and anxiety that we will pull out... these are unfounded and incorrect," he said. "We have great strength in our German factories, but we must not close our eyes to growth."
He promised Euro100m ($132m) annual investment in China for the foreseeable future; "we don't need billions like BASF... we have individual products made at local plants with joint venture partners, if businesses need support, they have access to the multi-user plant in Shanghai."
Thomas Schoeneberg, board member with responsibility Eastern Europe, which also includes Russia, said the region generated Euro365m in sales last year - 25% up on 2003. Poland and Russia accounted for Euro80m of sales. The number of employees in the region grew from 700 to 1000.
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