30 May- 5 June , 2001

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Biochemical International to set up second plant
100 new jobs in the offing
By Ray Abdilla

A Maltese company, Biochemicals International, is to set up a second manufacturing plant at Kordin shortly. Biochemicals is to have a second factory, opposite the existing one in Corradino, made available through the Malta Development Corporation. It has a floor space of 3,500 square metres. It is likely to create another 100 jobs.

The company makes a range of toiletry products in plants in Malta and Algeria and is now on the brink to expand its operations by setting up another factory just opposite the present one at Corardino. Biochemicals International doubled its export turnover last year.

At first the second factory will concentrate on the liquid material of the product so some already employed workers. It looks likely that August will be the month when the factory will start its initial operations.

Biochemicals International managing director Victor Zammit said that the second should compliment the first as the workload is getting heavier. Although Libya is considered as one of the company‘s largest markets, exports to Eastern European countries and Dubai have increased to around 40 countries.

Biochemicals International are the owners of Price Club, which is also expected to expand into the Libyan market.

Biochemicals International makes two ranges of personal care products: Men Only and Action Replay.

Mr Zammit said his company had a foothold in around 40 count countries and its two brands were rapidly competing with products made by multinational companies.

The Men Only range includes deodorant sprays, shower gels, deodorant roll-on, shaving gel and shaving foam, after-shave tonic, after-shave balm, eau de toilette, luxury soap as well as gift bags and sets.

Action Replay similarly includes a full range of products, aimed at sport people.

The company is planning to launch a new brand later this year.

The biggest export markets for Biochemicals International are north and central Africa, eastern Europe and the Middle East.

However, the company has also established a presence in Scandinavia, western Europe and Latin America.

The company‘s efforts to seek new markets recently extended to Iran, which had a potential market of 90 million people. With few international brands there, establishing a strong presence was important for this growing company, Mr Zammit said.

He said his company‘s target was to sell its products in 50 countries in the very near future.

"We need to expand and are thus investing in new equipment and machinery to bring more automation into our plants," Mr Zammit said.

He said the company took part in many specialised fairs abroad and supported local firms to market its products.

In Nigeria, for example, Biochemicals helps its local representatives through television advertising and in promotional material and merchandising among others.

In other countries, Biochemicals is active in other ways.

International Bulgarian football star Hristo Stoichkov endorses Action Replay and helps boost sales in eastern Europe.

Men Only was recently marketed in a huge billboard campaign in other eastern European countries.

"We believe that we have to handle our products differently in our main markets. But we must also look at the competition since these are mainly multinational brands," Mr Zammit said.

 



The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt