WARSAW, March 4 (Reuters) - Polish medical gloves producer and distributor Mercator Medical is planning an acquisition spree, including in foreign markets, after its value ballooned during the COVID-19 pandemic, its chief executive said.
Shares in Mercator Medical currently trade at around 345 zlotys ($91.16) compared to about 10 zlotys at the start of 2020. The firm is expected to enter Warsaw's blue-chip stock index this month.
"The pandemic was and is an extremely beneficial phenomenon for our company and the industry... I have to admit that the scale of growth of our company and the strength of the pandemic was a surprise to me," Mercator founder and Chief Executive Wieslaw Zyznowski told Reuters.
The company estimates its 2020 net profit will reach almost 957 million zlotys compared to 2 million zlotys loss in 2019.
"We want to use this situation and we are intensively working to grow strongly in a few years," Zyznowski said.
Mercator said in February it started a review of strategic options. Zyznowski said it had begun an intensive search for potential targets at home and outside Europe.
"When it comes to markets where we consider acquisitions, Poland is also at stake, although when I speak about acquisitions I rather mean foreign markets. I do not rule out takeovers outside Europe," Zyznowski, who founded the business in 1989, said.
While it is difficult to say whether Mercator will complete an acquisition this year, Zyznowski did not rule out that the company will announce plans to build another medical gloves factory and even to start a third business segment - on top of gloves production and distribution, though he did not elaborate. ($1 = 3.7847 zlotys) (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)