Joint venture for Fitch GE

Newsdesk: Clare Dowdy 0171-439 4222

Fitch is poised to launch a worldwide joint venture service with the plastics division of US group General Electric, to offer clients a wider service.

The new company, Fitch GE, will launch in Asia on 1 October. Fitch chairman and chief executive Martin Beck says a European arm of the joint venture is in the pipeline.

Fitch GE is a 50/50 joint venture based in Singapore. It builds on a six-year relationship with the plastics division of GE in the US. The agreement gives Fitch access to advanced plastics engineering processes and allows it to help clients in the sourcing of materials. “We similarly plan something with GE for Europe,” says Beck.

In interim results for the six months to 30 June 1997, Fitch reveals a continued improvement in its performance. Pre-tax profits increased by 15.7 per cent on the same period for 1996 to 1.3m, on the back of turnover up 11.4 per cent to 11.1m. The US arm of Fitch now accounts for 73 per cent of group turnover, despite poor trading at the Boston office.

Beck says a trend in Fitch’s US offices towards higher margin strategic consultancy work will be followed in the UK and Europe, as well as increasing focus on electronic communications. “The whole world is going digital,” he says.

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