LEADING fire-fighting devices manufacturer SRII Bhd expect to see a significant contribution from its European operations in the future following the opening of a marketing office by its wholly-owned unit Steel Recon Industries Sdn Bhd in Neuruppin, Germany, in October.
Steel Recon senior director Andrew Tham said the office was expected to spearhead the group's expansion into the European market, especially the previous Eastern Bloc countries such as the Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland.
“We have projected sales from this office to reach between four and five million Euro (RM18mil and RM22.5mil) for financial years 2004 and 2005,” Tham told StarBiz.
He said the marketing office, which now employed seven people, had made a promising start in sales. It also attracted significant media interest at its official launch on Nov 18 by the Mayor of Neuruppin, Otto Theel; the Malaysian ambassador to Germany Datuk Kamal Ismaun and SRII group managing director Datuk Y.S. Ong.
“It was set up to coordinate our business throughout Europe and to handle all the marketing requirement and prepare the groundwork for the group to develop its future business in the region.” Tham said.
He added that some of the work involved liasing with the local authorities on certification requirement.
Tham said the company had always set its sight on expanding its export market and the Europe office provided the opportunity for it to build its name in the region.
“Most people see Europe as a developed market but its replacement sector is growing, which provides opportunities for SRII.
“We do expect stiff competition from established players but we believe there are markets for us there,” he said, pointing to the company's position as a manufacturer, which allow it to better control its margins.
SRII is expected to market such fire fighting products as hose reel cabinets and fire extinguishers.
Besides manufacturing, SRII also trades in detection and alarm systems, and passive and active fire protection products, as well as designing and installing low- and high-risk fire fighting and protection systems.
Its fire fighting products, which had won numerous prestigious certifications and accreditations, are exported to more than 50 markets overseas.