THAILAND: Inoue Rubber inflates production output

The Thai-Japanese venture Inoue Rubber (Thailand) Plc plans to invest substantially in research and development and raise its production capacity next year to support the fast-growing automotive industry.

President Pimjai Leeisaranukul said about 430 million baht would be invested next year to prepare for automobile production in 2013 that is forecast to reach 2.15 million units with vehicle exports representing 27% of total sales, rising from 25% this year.

Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET)-listed Inoue Rubber (IRC) is the manufacturer of industrial elastomer parts, motorcycle tyres including on-road and off-road tyres, scooter tyres and heavy-duty tyres, motorcycle tubes and wheel sets including spoke wheels and casting wheels. These products are marketed under the IRC brand.

It has operated for 40 years and is the country's first producer of motorcycle tyres that use raw materials free of carcinogens.

Ms Pimjai said the company expects to post 5.35 billion baht in sales in 2010, an 18.79% year-on-year increase.

Of that total, 4.24 billion will be from the local market and 1.11 billion from exports. Some 2.49 billion baht will come from industrial elastomer parts, accounting for 47% of sales, 1.79 billion from motorcycle tyres, 596 million from motorcycle tubes and 466 million baht from wheel sets.

Sales in 2011 are expected to grow at least 15% or 5.8 billion baht, while net profit is expected to reach 309 million baht, close to the previous year.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)