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Mauritius’s GML Plans Expansion into East Africa, Lagesse Says

GML, Mauritius’ biggest company by revenue, plans to expand its financial and retail operations in East Africa, said Arnaud Lagesse, its chief executive officer.

“We expect the African segment to grow from a marginal contribution to our turnover to about 30 percent over the next decade,” Lagesse said in an interview yesterday in Port Louis, the capital. “Mauritius, with a population of 1.3 million people, is limited.”

Expansion by GML, previously known as Groupe Mon Loisir, in Africa will be led by AfrAsia Bank, a corporate lender that also has three branches in South Africa, and through Winners’, the group’s chain that operates 18 supermarkets in the Indian Ocean island nation.

GML is Mauritius’s largest company by revenue at 18.3 billion rupees ($649 million) in 2010, about 6.9 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, according to Port Louis-based Business Magazine. It has controlling stakes in Ireland Blyth Ltd., Naiade Resorts Ltd., Phoenix Beverages Ltd. and United Basalt Products Ltd. and has a stake in Flacq United Estates Ltd., according to the group.

GML’s revenue “will easily” be more than 24 billion rupees for the year through June, Lagesse said, following the acquisition of the controlling stake in Ireland Blyth.

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