The company, based in Siauliai, northern Lithuania, is to produce 50 TV sets for Samsung this month. If their quality is satisfactory, the first order for 10,000 sets is expected in February.
Siauliu Tauro Televizoriai expects Samsung to increase its orders to 40,000 sets per month in the second half of this year.
Lithuanian-made Samsung TV sets will not be marked separately as they will be assembled from imported parts and the production will be integrated into Samsung's general distribution system.
The Sauliai company is ready to produce any of Samsung's range of TV sets, but for now three models with screen sizes of 37, 51 and 54 centimeters will be made, said Eugenius Lukas, the company's financial director.
The Sauliai company's three-year attempt to enter the French market succeeded at the end of 2001 and tripled the company's output for December.
France has become Siauliu Tauro Televizoriai's main export market, accounting for 46 percent of the company's output. According to Lukas, Sauliai-made TV sets are sold in supermarkets and cost from $100 to $150 in stores in Paris as well as in Vilnius' Maxima supermarkets. With French and South Korean export markets in its sights Siauliu Tauro Televizoriai is an attractive bite for investors, writes the Riga-based business newspaper Bizness&Baltija.
Twenty percent of its shares belong to the Panevezys based TV screen maker Ekranas, while 80 percent are owned by a company called Siauliu Tauras. This company is undergoing bankruptcy proceedings and is managed by its creditors - the tax inspectorate, the social insurance department and others who might sell the 80 percent stake to cover their losses.
The company is currently operating at full capacity and projecting a turnover of 140 million litas ($35 million) for 2002, more than a twofold increase from last year.
Amid a slowdown in European markets, its sales declined to 139,081 sets in 2001, from 206,516 sets in 2000. Its annual turnover reached 62.36 million litas last year, a 26.6 percent drop on the previous year.