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Germany’s Leoni Expands Serbian Facility, Plans to Add 420 Jobs

Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Leoni AG, a German cable and wire maker, doubled the size of its Serbian plant and plans to expand the workforce by 50 percent from its own investments and with incentives from the Serbian government.

Supplying Bayerische Motoren Werke AG with wiring systems, Leoni completed the expansion of its facility in Prokuplje this week to 13,000 square meters (139,930 square feet), where it plans to employ 1,300 by the end of the year, General Manager Peter Rekoskum said in an e-mail.

After 6 million euros ($8.24 million) invested so far in the Prokuplje factory, “Leoni intends to invest another 3 million euros, mainly in production equipment, buildings and property,” Rekoskum said, responding to e-mailed questions.

Sales from the Prokuplje plant reached 5.2 million euros last year, he said without offering a forecast for 2011.

Serbia’s Investment and Export Promotion Agency has included Leoni in its incentives program subsidizing each new job with 5,300 euros, said Nikola Jankovic, an adviser at SIEPA.

Leoni, which also makes optic fibers and cable systems for auto and other industries, set up the Prokuplje plant in December 2009 on the location of a former brake factory, Fiaz, bought earlier that year for 58 million dinars, the equivalent of 617,000 euros at the time.

To contact the reporter on this story: Misha Savic in Belgrade at msavic2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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