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Interfax: Slovak finance ministry refuses to comment on speculation about new Dell investment

15.6.2006 16:43
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PRAGUE. JUNE 15. INTERFAX CENTRAL EUROPE - Slovakia's finance ministry Thursday declined to comment on rumors that US computer giant Dell was likely to build a new plant in Slovakia and said Wednesday's comments by Finance Minister Ivan Miklos on the investment were taken out of context.

“Finance Minister Miklos's comments [on the Dell investment] were out of context and misinterpreted, and we decline to comment on this issue,” Finance Minister spokesperson Peter Papanek said.

Czech news agency CTK Wednesday quoted Miklos as saying Slovakia was leading the competition in talks on a possible location for the new Dell plant, although Miklos added that the final decision was up to Dell.

On Thursday the Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) also declined to comment.

“SARIO has embargo to provide any information on potential investment of Dell,” said SARIO spokesman Michal Novota.

According to media reports, the new plant, which may employ several thousand people, could be built near Nitra, about 70 kilometers east of the Slovak capital, Bratislava.

Rumors of the new plant gained further credence Wednesday when CTK also quoted Dell's CEO in Slovakia, Veit Dengler, as saying that the new plant would be “relatively big” although no decision had been made on the final location as Dell is looking at more countries in the region. The assessment of the planned investment took longer than expected, he added.

Dell would not comment on the speculation when contacted by Interfax.

“Dell does not comment on rumors or speculations,” Vit Subert, marketing director Dell CR told Interfax late Wednesday.

Dell already has a call center in Slovakia, providing services to German-speaking clients from Europe, and employs about 1,400 staff in Slovakia at present. Dell has only one plant in Europe, located in Ireland, where it employs about 6,000 staff.

Dell ended the first quarter of this year with profits of USD 762 mln, a drop of 18% year on year (y/y), on sales worth USD 14.2 bln, up from USD 13.4 bln.


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