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Slovenia Business Week no. 26/2005: Fuel Trader Looking to Boost Presence in SE Europe

Fuel retailer Petrol has plans to increase its presence in SE Europe, which is why it is buying a storage facility in Croatia with capacity to cater for 80 to 100 petrol stations in this region

Fuel retailer Petrol has plans to increase its presence in SE Europe, which is why it is buying a storage facility in Croatia with capacity to cater for 80 to 100 petrol stations in this region, the head of the company told the press on Wednesday, 22 June.  

Petrol currently generates 9.4% of its revenue on the markets of SE Europe. However, the aim is to increase this in the future.  

The company hopes to raise the number of its stations from 343 currently held in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia-Montenegro to 500 that would stretch all the way to the Black Sea.  

Petrol plans to do this through the opening of 30 new petrol stations in Bosnia and cooperation with Serbian fuel trader Naftna industrija Srbije (NIS).  

Moreover, the company is also planning to expand its reach to Bulgaria and Romania, chairman Janez Lotric said, adding that the plans for that are not finalised yet.  

According to him, the company has no plans to open petrol stations in the EU, as most of these markets are saturated, which has forced the closure of pumps there.  

"Until we find the right approach for the EU, we will focus on SE Europe, where it will be easier for us to achieve our goals," Lotric said.  

The construction of a EUR 15m storage facility on the outskirts of Croatia's capital Zagreb would allow the realisation of Petrol's strategy in that country, he added.  

Petrol currently has 18 petrol stations in Croatia, while its plan is to increase that to 50 by 2010, he announced.  

Meanwhile, expansion in Serbia will depend on the partnership with NIS, which is about to be privatised. According to Lotric, the partnership with the Serbian company does not have to be tied to the privatisation of the company.  

Petrol would like to invest into the construction and modernisation of petrol stations in Serbia with NIS, Lotric explained.  

Moreover, he said that Petrol continues to invest at home as well. According to him, at least 20 petrol stations will be fitted with around-the-clock electronic pumps that will allow customers to fill up their cars at times the stations would otherwise be closed.

Source: Slovene Press Agency STA

Author: STA