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WEDEL PARTNERSHIP WITH PEPSICO SHOWS STRENGTH FOR FUTURE IN POLAND; FIRST ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR NEWLY PRIVATISED E. WEDEL S.A.

WEDEL PARTNERSHIP WITH PEPSICO SHOWS STRENGTH FOR FUTURE IN POLAND;
 FIRST ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY FOR NEWLY PRIVATISED E. WEDEL S.A.
 WARSAW, Poland, April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- A significant development in Poland's move towards a free market economy occurred today with the first annual shareholders meeting of a privatised company since reforms began last year. The 1991 Annual General Assembly of E. Wedel S.A. shareholders marked an historic year in which the company entered a partnership agreement with PepsiCo Foods International (PFI).
 This partnership is the highest profile example of privatisation in Poland and regarded as a model for other Western companies to follow. The shareholders meeting therefore attracted massive interest from audiences both inside and outside the country.
 The Annual General Assembly revealed a strong financial performance by Wedel. In the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 1991, Wedel's total net sales were 1,035 billion zlotys ($98m) and produced a 303 billion zlotys ($29m) operating profit. Also announced at the Assembly were ongoing plans for a $56 million investment over a five-year period promised by PFI when the agreement was sealed nine months ago.
 Growth potential for the future will be ensured by heavy reinvestment and the introduction of an entirely new sister company to Wedel called Frito-Lay Poland. Wedel will continue to be the leading manufacturer of sweet snacks and biscuits while Frito-Lay Poland will introduce consumers to top quality American-style salty snacks.
 Sales of sweet snacks were highlighted as crucial to the development of the Wedel/PFI partnership. Evidence of this was shown with the announcement that the construction of a new distribution centre at Plonsk had already begun.
 The future of Frito-Lay Poland will be laid on solid foundations with the creation of a new salty snack food manufacturing plant, scheduled to be operational in April 1993, which will be able to produce 600 million bags of salty snack products annually.
 Five new salty snack products are to be introduced into the Polish market, initially by import but with Polish packaging, to build a market base until domestic production is fully underway. These are: Fritos(A); Ruffles(A); Chee.tos(A); Bocabits(A) and Drakis(A) - some of PFI's and the world's best selling brands.
 Advanced technology plus substantial capital investment will be among the main factors which will enable salty snack production to achieve sales of 1,300 billion zlotys by 1996.
 James O'Neal, President, Northern European Operations, PepsiCo Foods International stated: "Reinvestment and long term economic stability are vital to both the future of the company and Poland in general. In fact, the pace of our investment has accelerated and we are now spending $17 million in the first year of the partnership, rather than the $15.2 million originally planned. We are here for the long term and we're going to make sure Wedel prospers for our shareholders and our consumers."
 (A) Fritos; Ruffles; Chee.tos; Bocabits and Drakis are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP).
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Terry Fasburg of PepsiCo Foods International (Dallas), 214-956-3678; Peter Lawlor, Claire Davies of Hill & Knowlton (London), 071-333-0333, for PepsiCo Foods International; or Jack Lozinski of A.R.T. Ltd (Warsaw), 010-48-22-294873/
 (PEP) CO: PepsiCo Foods International ST: New York IN: FOD SU:


SH -- NY016 -- 8506 04/15/92 09:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
Words:550
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