ZMS Lucznik, the Polish sewing machine manufacturer, signed a contract with Germany's Singer to sell 20,000 sewing machines to the German partner and is still negotiating two other contracts.

If the talks are successful the company may post first profits in 2001. By the end of the year ZMS Lucznik is to produce some 120,000 sewing machines of which 80 per cent will be exported. The company was created in 1999 from giant ZM Lucznik, which was pronounced bankrupt last year.

Another company also created out of ZM Lucznik - weapon producer FB Lucznik - is likely to improve its situation in 2001 as it reached an agreement to provide guns for the Ministry of Defence.