Samsung Electronics Opens LCD Screens Plant in Slovakia

Company says it wants to be ready when economic crisis is stabilized and consumers start buying again

Samsung Electronics opened a 300 million euro (US$402 million) plant producing LCD TV screens in Voderady, western Slovakia on oct. 17.

"We understand that there is a financial crisis in the world. But within two or three years the crisis will be stabilized and customers are going to buy new TVs. These are not going to be old-style," said Samsung vice-president Yeongduk Cho. The company expects its plant supplying screens to the European market to reach a revenue of $400 million this year and $1.5 billion in the near future.

Six production lines at the plant will reach full production of six million units by the end of 2008. By 2011, the company plans to launch 11 lines with total annual production capacity of 10 million units.

The construction of the 39,000-square-meter plant, situated some 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of the capital Bratislava, started in May 2007. The factory expects to raise staff numbers from the current 800 to 1,200 in 2011.

"This government is pushing for high-quality economic growth. We would like to increase the attractiveness of Slovakia especially for projects like this," Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said.

The South Korean company has a factory producing laser printers, DVD players and computer screens in the western Slovakian town of Galanta, which is also the home of its European research and distribution center.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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