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Siam Cement forms ceramics venture with Italy's Florim

BANGKOK -- Siam Cement Group will in early 2015 start producing high-end ceramics in Italy through a new joint venture with local ceramics company Florim Ceramiche.

     Siam Cement's ceramics subsidiary, SCG Cement-Building Materials, holds a 33% stake in the venture, valued at 506 million baht ($15.9 million). The facility will have an annual capacity of 5 million sq. meters and be located in the Bologna region of northern Italy.

     SCG Cement-Building Materials has the world's largest ceramics production capacity, at 225 million sq. meters. This will be its first ceramics plant in Europe. The company hopes to strengthen the image of its global brand Cotto, which handles porcelain materials such as tiles and sanitary ware.

     The company has been working with Florim and other Italian ceramics makers in producing its Cotto Italia collection of high-end tiles.

     In 2013, SCG Cement-Building Materials acquired an 85% stake in Vietnamese ceramics maker Prime Group Joint Stock, making the Thai company the world's largest producer of ceramic tiles. The core business unit of Siam Cement, it manufactures cement, ready-mixed concrete, ceramic tiles and other building materials.

     It logged a profit of 16 billion baht in fiscal 2013, up 23% on the year, on sales of 174 billion baht, up 13%.

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