|MOSCOW (Standard & Poor's) Nov. 19, 2003--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said today it raised its Russia national scale corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings on JSC Concern Kalina (Kalina), Russia's largest cosmetics manufacturing company, to 'ruBBB' from 'ruBBB-'.
"The rating action reflects the company's increasing ability to generate free operating cash flows; moderate financial policy in terms of acquisitions and maintaining total debt at about $20 million; and ability to retain a leading market position in the Russian cosmetics and personal care market," said Standard & Poor's credit analyst Tatiana Kordyukova. In addition, the company has started to divest its noncore and loss-making operations and has reviewed its growth strategy, which is now focused on organic growth, brand promotion, and limited acquisitions of developed trademarks.
"The ratings on Kalina remain constrained, however, by intensifying competition with international cosmetics companies in Russia, heightening advertising costs, exposure to foreign-currency risk because of planned dollar-denominated debt, and seasonality and volatility of the cosmetics and personal care products industry," added Ms. Kordyukova. Despite these constraints, the ratings could be upgraded by one notch more if the company undertook a successful IPO and continues to demonstrate a prudent growth strategy and avoids any significant increase in its leverage.
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This announcement is only for circulation to persons to whom it may lawfully be issued in circumstances in which Section 21(1) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 does not apply to the Company.
This announcement is not an offer for sale of securities in the United States. The securities referred to herein may not be sold in the United Sates absent registration or an exemption from registration under the U.S. securities Act of 1933, as amended. Kalina does not intend to register any portion of the offering of the securities in the United States or to conduct a public offering of the securities in the United States. Any offer of the securities to be made in the United States will be made only by means of an offering memorandum, which will contain detailed information about the company and its management and financial statements. Copies of this announcement are not being made and may not be distributed or sent into Canada or Japan.