Turkey's Kale Group has closed down its construction chemicals plant in Russia due to economic problems in the market, the group's chair told Turkish weekly Ekonomist.
"This decision was actually made after the Ukraine crisis [began], but was recently realized," Kale Group Chair Zeynep Bodur Okyay was quoted by the magazine on April 24. The Kale Group's construction chemicals unit, Kalekim, opened a factory in Russia in 2008.
Turkish home appliances maker Vestel also announced that it was shutting down its Russian factory a couple of weeks ago. Kalekim has an annual production capacity of 800,000 tons of construction chemicals at a total of eight facilities, including the Russian plant.
The Kale Group, which closed in 2015 with more than $1.5 billion in revenue, sells products to 100 countries. The group, however, has recently experienced problems with exports, mainly in the neighboring region, Bodur Okyay said. "We have faced serious problems with our exports to the neighboring region, mainly in 18 countries, such as Iraq and Algeria. Due to these problems, we have eyes on new markets, mainly the United States and European markets," she said, adding that there were also problems in the domestic market.
The group has a total of 17 companies ranging from the defense sector to the energy and tourism sectors. The Kale Group is the largest construction chemicals producer and seller in Turkey and fifth-largest in Europe.