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Kirloskar Brothers to supply pumps to Africa

Our Bureau

Pune , July 20

KIRLOSKAR Brothers Ltd, manufacturers of pumps and valves, has initiated a `Focus Africa' programme with country-specific export strategies. The company is also exploring new markets in the West Indian, North American and ASEAN countries, Mr Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd (KBL), told presspersons after the annual general meeting held here on Tuesday.

Mr Kirloskar said the company had initiated the programme with conservation of water table as the focus. He noted that it has identified some of the countries in Africa, which include Egypt, South Africa, Angola, Morocco, Sudan and Ethiopia, to which it could supply the pumps. He noted that these countries, "fell under the group of countries that could pay." The total sales to the African countries amounted to 18 per cent of the export sales, which in value terms was close to Rs 9 crore. He noted that the company was looking at doubling the export value from these countries in the current fiscal.

Mr Kirloskar said the African markets would be tapped by SPP Pumps Ltd, a UK-based manufacturing company, which KBL had taken over the previous year. SPP sells pumping packages for various applications such as construction, irrigation, fire fighting and water supply and has a strong presence in European and Common Wealth countries. He said the company was estimating a turnover of about 30 million (about Rs 25,500 crore) from SPP for the year ending December 2004.

He noted that Mr Owen Shevlin, who holds two-and-a-half per cent share in the business, has been brought back into the fold to take care of the SPP operations. Mr Shevlin took care of the SPP business from 1987 to 1997 when the company had achieved good results and had moved out due to differences of opinion.

Mr Kirloskar said plans are already on for the sale of the land occupied by its subsidiary, Kirloskar Silk Industries Ltd, the project, which had not taken off. The company holds about 500 acres of land in the North of Nasik district, which lay between two dams. He noted that if the sale was conducted about 30 per cent the investment made into the subsidiary was likely to be recovered. Looking at the financials for the year ended March 2004, he said the company had achieved a turnover of Rs 507.8 crore compared to Rs 488.2 crore for the fiscal ended March 2003, registering an increase of about 8 per cent.

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