Makro Cash & Carry invests PLN 480m in new image

Makro Cash and Carry, the self-service gross seller shops owned by German Metro, which has 21 outlets in Poland is going to modernise them. In the years 2005-07, it will invest PLN 480m (EUR 122.9m) to increase selling surface by 16 percent and the number of goods by several thousand.

Our main target is to acquire leading position in the gross deliveries for HoReCa sector, Jeroen de Groot, MC&C CEO said.
HoReCa means hotels, restaurants and catering companies. Today, those clients constitute only 10 percent of MC&C clients while 40 percent are small shops.

(Source: pb/APA)

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Late Pope, U.S. PR Firm Cause Ripples In Poland

Blame the Pope? An award for the most imaginative use of the April death of Pope John Paul II goes to Peter Knauer, chief executive of Cadbury Wedel. That's a Polish chocolate maker, which Cadbury Schweppes bought from PepsiCo in 1999. Knauer told Forbes Poland that the death of the pope hurt the sales of sweets.

But instead of the pontiff's death, perhaps Cadbury Wedel's troubles came from introducing too many new flavors, including sixty two types of chocolate. Polish consumers seemed content with the traditional offerings of Wedel, a 154-year-old chocolate maker. Besides the surplus of new flavors, cutting its marketing budget may weaken the Cadbury Wedel brand, estimated by Ernst & Young to be worth $200 million.

In related news in the Eastern European nation, turmoil arose when the U.S. public relations firm Edelman entered the Polish PR arena. According to another report in Forbes Poland, Edelman had worked with a local partner, then decided to set up shop in Poland on its own. But the U.S. firm hired away its former partner's partner to run its new operation. Edelman's ex-partner cried foul, as Edelman's worldwide clients, including Eli Lilly, signed up with the new operation.

Other Polish PR firms, which currently work with Edelman's worldwide clients - including Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson , Samsung and Coca-Cola - are afraid that Edelman will take their business away. The report says that the Polish public relations industry is worth over $ 50 million in annual billings.

(Source: Forbes Poland)

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AG Barr targeting Poland

AG BARR, the Glasgow company that produces Irn-Bru, is stepping up its move into overseas markets with a full launch of the fizzy drink in Poland next year. The expansion into foreign markets comes as Barr said it closed two sales and logistics operations at home – at Irvine and Wishaw – in the first half, resulting in 25 to 30 job losses.
Barr said its plans to launch in Poland were founded on a successful market test of the drink in 2004. It will initially focus the launch on the capital, Warsaw, followed by a countrywide roll-out later in 2006.
Until now, Barr has been shipping Irn-Bru to Poland from its manufacturing base in the UK. But it plans to manufacture the drink with a local partner under licence in 2006, cutting down on transport costs and improving delivery lead times to stores. Roger White, chief executive, said: "We are hoping to replicate (in Poland) the results from Russia."
White hopes the launch in Poland could have a ripple effect, resulting in Irn-Bru launching into neighbouring eastern European territories.

(Source: The Herald)

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Forrester Research: The State Of Consumer Technology Adoption In Poland

Polish consumers lag in technology ownership and Internet usage, but they are likely to rapidly catch up with their Western European counterparts once incomes increase, according to new Consumer Technographics data from Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR). While overall online banking uptake and PC availability remain low, online Polish consumers already match online Southern Europeans in buying online. Poland even outperforms Spain, with 30% of online consumers having ever bought online, compared with just 29% in Spain. With almost 40 million consumers, the Polish market is the largest in Central Europe - larger than those of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary combined. As the Polish economy is picking up steam again, driven by EU membership and a young, well-educated workforce, Poland represents a market opportunity that technology providers at large can not afford to ignore.

"Some 60% of Polish consumers don´t have a computer available to them; when they do, however, almost all of them have a PC at home," said Forrester Research head of quantitative research, Reineke Reitsma. "The main factor driving home PC ownership is income: When Polish consumers have the financial resources, they tend to buy a PC. More than 50% of consumers with an average monthly household income of more than 1650 zlotys (Euro 400) have a computer at home. This shows how quickly Poland could close the PC ownership gap with Western Europe when incomes increase."

The Forrester survey also shows that Polish consumers are far more likely to use their PCs and online connection for entertainment, rather than for work; in particular, "free" replacement activities, such as downloading movies, digital music, and peer-to-peer file-sharing networks show strong usage. They also love the possibilities of free communication via the Net: They are twice as likely as their Western European counterparts to use instant messaging and make phone calls using the Net, and more than five times as likely to send SMSes from a Web site.

Forrester has published four research reports focusing on Polish consumer data, covering Internet access, technology ownership and purchase intentions, mobile phones, and online banking. The research also highlights the challenges facing the Polish fixed-line telecommunications industry. According to Reitsma, "Fifty-five percent of Polish consumers use a mobile phone. Two groups of consumers are squeezing Polish telcos: 28% of mobile users are replacing most fixed-line use with their mobiles; and 24% of mobile users have no fixed line at home and only use their mobiles."

Only 5% Of Polish Online Consumers Bank Online Today

The Polish consumer finance market also lags that of Western Europe. Some 45% of Polish consumers hold some form of insurance and 44% have a current account, but overall financial product ownership lies well below Western European levels. Reitsma: "Affluent consumers dominate ownership in every product category: They earn high incomes and shop around for their financial products. When researching financial products, 25% of those with Net access turn to the Web for information, although only 5% of online consumers actually bank online today."

(Source: vwd-News)

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Poland's central bank keeps rates unchanged

The Polish central bank decided Wednesday to leave its key interest rate unchanged, a move that had been expected by analysts.

The decision by the rate-setting Monetary Policy Council kept the bank's benchmark seven-day intervention rate at 4.5 percent, the discount rate at 4.75 percent, the Lombard rate at 6 percent and the overnight deposit rate at 3 percent.

In a brief statement, the council said it was maintaining its relaxed policy bias. That means the rate-setting panel believes annual inflation, now running at 1.6 percent, is more likely to undershoot than overshoot the central bank's 2.5 percent target through 2007.
Analysts had expected rates to remain unchanged this month because of the uncertainty about the country's economic course in the wake of Sunday's elections for the lower house of parliament.

The socially conservative Law and Justice party was the winner, but is engaged in talks about forming a coalition with the pro-market Civic Platform.

The country's presidential election is scheduled for Oct. 9.

(Source: Business Week)

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LG Electronics to build appliance plant in Poland

LG Electronics Inc., South Korea's second-largest consumer electronics maker, said Tuesday it will construct a new home appliance factory in Poland targeting European market.

Construction of the new US$103 million plant in Poland's Wroclaw region will be completed by 2011, the company said.

"LG Electronics plans to break ground on the new plant in Wroclaw, 343-km southwest of Warsaw, in the first half of next year before beginning gradual production from the end of 2006," said the company after its board of directors meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia.

LG Electronics aims to produce 500,000 refrigerators and 3.5 million liquid crystal display TVs in the Polish plant every year.

Notably, Wroclaw is also the site where LG.Philips LCD, one of the world's leading LCD makers, plans to build a $530 million LCD factory by 2011. LG.Philips is a joint venture between LG Electronics and Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands.

LG Electronics looks forward to becoming the world's top appliance maker by 2007 by posting $14 billion in global sales.

(Source: Yonhap news)

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