Frutarom Establishing Companies in Belarus, Romania

Essences and flavorings maker Frutarom on Sunday announced plans to expand in Europe by established subsidiaries in Belarus and Romania.

The two companies would have a marketing and sales staff.

Its products are used in cosmetics, but mainly in the processed food industry. Consumption of processed foodstuffs has been soaring by 15% to 20% a year in eastern Europe.

Ori Yehudai, the Israeli company's president and chief business director, commented that the move gives the company a strong base to pursue its expansion. Frutarom began doing business in eastern Europe in the last few years, he explained. It established companies and product development laboratories in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, which have worked out better than even the company had fondly hoped, Yehudai said. Each year the company increases its share of the market, and now it means to duplicate that model in Romania and Belarus.

During the second quarter, Frutarom bought the European fruit preparation unit, which boasts turnover of $90 million a year, from an American company called IFF.

For the first quarter of 2004, Frutarom reported a 56% increase in revenues to $43.9 million, and a profit of $4.3 million, more than double its earnings in the same quarter of 2003.