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India - IFGL Refractories sees 2009 sales up 45 pct on diversification

KOLKATA - IFGL Refractories Ltd's diversification into foundry business will help consolidated sales rise 45.11 percent to 5.5 billion rupees in FY09, a top official said on Monday.

IFGL, makers of refractory materials used by steel and cement firms for linings of furnaces, posted consolidated sales of 3.79 billion rupees in 2007/08.

In June the firm acquired Germay's Hofmann Ceramic GmbH, which makes ceramic filters used by foundries, for 7 million euros.

The deal was executed through IFGL's UK step-down subsidiary Monocon International Refractories Ltd. It included acquisition of Hofmann's subsidiaries in UK and the Czech Republic.

"The acquisition will help us get foothold in foundry business and establish presence in Europe," Pradeep Bajoria, director and chief executive, said.

IFGL plans to make ceramic filters in India for the local market and export to China and other countries, he added.

"The foundry business is growing by 15 percent in India and 17 percent in China. We see a good business opportunity going forward."

The firm will set up ceramic filters unit at its existing refractory plant in the eastern state of Orissa at a cost of 70 million rupees, Bajoria added.

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