Marico, Asian Paints resume partial operations in Egypt

New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI) India''s consumer goods firmsMarico and Asian Paints today said they have resumedmanufacturing operations partially in Egypt, even as thepolitical crisis in the African nation showed no sign ofabating.

Last week, Marico, Dabur and Asian paints had shut downproduction in Egypt in the wake of the political unrest.

While Marico and Asian Paints have partially startedproduction from Sunday, comments could not be obtained fromDabur on its latest situation in Egypt.

"The situation seems to be improving and if the presenttrend continues, we should see more predictable days ahead,inshallah," Marico, Chief-Finance, HR and Strategy MilindSarwate told PTI, adding the firm re-opened its Cairo officeon Sunday.

"...But we expect the curfew timings (currently eveningto 6 am) may restrict the office working, for some time,"Sarwate added.

Marico factories have also re-opened and for the timebeing working in a single shift, he said.

Similarly, India''s leading paints company, Asian Paintsalso said two plants of its subsidiary, SCIB Chemicals SAE,Egypt, which were shut due to prolonged curfew, have restartedoperations partially with effect from February 6.

The two manufacturing units are located about 50 km fromCairo.

According to sources, the company''s decision to re-startthe operations, however, did not suggest any improvement inthe situation in the country.

Egypt contributes significantly to the Middle East (ME)sales of Asian Paints.

The ME region witnessed a turnover of Rs 650 crore out ofthe total international revenues of Rs 1,215 crore registeredby the company in 2009-2010.

Marico currently sells hair care brands Fiancee, HairCode and Parachute in the region. The Middle East and NorthAfrican (MENA) region contributes around 7-8 per cent to thecompany�s turnover.

Last fiscal, the firm�s turnover was Rs. 2,030.85 crore.

While Asian Paints'' scrips closed at Rs 2,506.80 pershare, up 1.06 per cent from the previous close, Marico''sscrips closed at Rs 113.60 per share, down 0.96 per cent fromthe previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Despite calls for his ouster, Egypt''s President HosniMubarak remained defiant on Monday as talks between hisgovernment and the opposition failed.

Demonstrators are still on the streets of Cairo demandingthe immediate resignation of Mubarak, who has been ruling thenation for three decades.

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