OMV, PKN Orlen Prepare Gear up for Aggressive Expansion into the Czech Republic

7. Juli 2006, 00:00

The two top companies on the Central European fuel market - Austrian firm OMV and Polish company PKN...

The two top companies on the Central European fuel market - Austrian firm OMV and Polish company PKN Orlen, are preparing ambitious investment programmes for the Czech Republic.

OMVs primary task will be to expand its value added services, while PKN Orlen will look to upgrade the outdated facilities of fuel retailer Benzina. The two companies have set the ambitious goal to boost its market share on this market.

PKN Orlen, owner of some 2,700 petrol stations in Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic, intends to disclose a new strategy for its Czech-based belonging, Benzina at the end of the summer.

Furthermore, PKN Orlen is also prepared to spend some more money on if a chain of petrol stations is up for sale in the Czech Republic, the companys head Igor Chalupec said.

To OMV, the Czech Republic is a key market, the concerns CEO Gerhard Roiss said.

OMV recently added 70 petrol stations from Aral to its chain, raising thus the number of the petrol stations it owns to 217.

Experts agree that the loss-making Benzina, burdened with billions of crowns worth debts, has no chance on the market without a fast modernisation. But even with a modernisation, it will not be easy to catch up with market leader OMV.

Benzina petrol stations are to a large extent located in less lucrative localities, while rival and in particular multinational chains, such as OMV, Shell, ConocoPhillips and Agip petrol stations, benefit from advantageous positions near motorways and in big towns.

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