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Petrol to Invest EUR 428M in Slovenia and SE Europe By 2014

Zagreb, 16 June (STA) - Slovenian energy group Petrol will invest in Slovenia and Southeast European markets a total of EUR 428m by the end of 2014, Petrol chairman Aleksander Svetelsek told the press in Zagreb on Wednesday. He added that the group would invest EUR 75m in Croatia and employ an additional 300 people there.

Svetelsek told Petrol's first press conference ever in Croatia that the group was planning to develop its retail activities through filling stations and to make it among the top three fuel retailers in Southeast Europe.

According to him, the Petrol group intends to increase annual revenues each year by 10%.

Svetelsek also announced that Petrol would start selling in Croatia on 1 July its next-generation fuels, which have been already introduced in Slovenia.

Out of the mentioned EUR 428m, 54% will be invested in fuel retail activities in Southeast Europe and 17% in Slovenia, while 29% will be invested in retail of gas and other energy products.

Petrol acquired at the beginning of June a 51% stake in Croatian gas distributor Jadranplin, which is expected to boost Perol's gas sales. Petrol expects to become the second biggest gas retailer in Croatia, Svetelsek said.

Petrol group has been present on the Croatian market since 1996 through its subsidiaries Petrol Hrvatska and Euro-Petrol, which operate 75 filling stations all around Croatia. The group plans to have 100 filling stations and about 1,000 employees in the country by 2014.

"In the first three months of 2010 Petrol generated EUR 71.4m in net sales revenues in Croatia, which is 20% more than in the same period last year and 12% more than planned," said Svetelsek.

He added that the main strategic goals of Petrol by the end of 2014 was increasing the number of filling stations by 29%, boost sales of petroleum products by 25% and sales revenues by 26%.

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