Irico Group Corp, China's biggest and the world's fifth- largest maker of color TV picture tubes, began marketing a US$100 million IPO in Hong Kong. The group, based in the central city of Xi'an, plans to use the cash to raise its annual tube production capacity from 11m units in 2003 to 17m units by 2007, focusing on 21-inch tubes for lower-end TVs, and 32-36-inch tubes aimed at high-definition digital TVs. Although plasma and LCD TVs are gaining in popularity, Irico's net profit is expected to rise 21.2% to US$46 million in 2004, from US$38.2m in 2003. Net profit growth is forecast at 20% and 18% in 2005 and 2006 respectively, fund managers said.
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