Trim maker Tag-It Pacific Inc has signed its first franchise in Central Asia to distribute Talon Zippers throughout the region and says it expects 2005 revenue growth to exceed 40 per cent.

The deal, signed through its Talon Division, includes a $9.5 million minimum purchase clause for the three-year period, and production and orders are expected to commence January 1.

Talon will provide rolled zippers in bulk, along with equipment for finishing the zippers for inclusion in finished garments.

The zipper market exceeds $2 billion annually and represents a substantial growth opportunity Tag-It said in a statement on Wednesday.

Colin Dyne, Tag-It Pacific's chief executive officer, added: "This is the first of many new franchise agreements we anticipate signing as we initially target 15 markets which account for $600 million in zipper business.

For the third quarter ended 30 September, the Los Angeles, Calif-based company's management expects to report revenues of $16.9 million, compared to revenue of $16.4 million reported in last year's third fiscal quarter.

For 2005, the company anticipates revenue growth in excess of 40 per cent and stabilisation of operating expenses at $16-17 million.