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LCL banks on overseas business



INTEGRATED interior fit-out specialist LCL Corp Bhd expects to double the contribution from its overseas business this year to 70 per cent, as it steps up marketing activities in oil-producing countries.
"Where the oil flows, the country will experience a boom in infrastructure and high-end properties," LCL said in a statement.

LCL has already established a foothold in Kazakhstan, Qatar and UAE with projects in hand totalling more than RM400 million.

The group has tendered for projects worth more than RM1 billion in the Middle East alone with a historical track record of 15 per cent success rate.

The group will also focus on new geographical markets, namely North Africa, Bahrain, Sudan and Pakistan, the statement added.

"We are bullish on LCL's growth overseas, especially in the Middle East and India.


In 2005, our overseas contribution was just 10 per cent but in 2006 the overseas portion is expected to increase to about 30 per cent.

"With LCL's current order book, we believe the overseas contribution will double in 2007 to approximately 70 per cent," managing director Low Chin Meng said.

To cater for demand overseas, LCL has set up a factory in Chennai, India, which will be fully operational by March 2007.

It will increase the group's total capacity by 30 per cent and cut operational cost by 15-20 per cent. India was chosen because of its proximity to the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa.

India also presents itself as a potential market, as it will host the Commonwealth Games in 2010. New luxury hotels will be built to cater for the event.

"Interior fit-out gives the highest margins among the other construction-related segments and has gained importance as a country develops.

"Today, over 30 per cent of the developer's cost goes to interior fit-out compared to 10-15 per cent in the past.

"The size for the local market alone is between RM1 billion to RM1.2 billion a year, while in the Middle East, the market is more than 50 times bigger," Low said.

Besides Malaysia and the Middle East, LCL has also completed projects in the US, Europe, China, Singapore, North Korea, Brunei, India and Cuba.

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