VIKING Holdings, a wholly owned subsidiary of the United States-based Viking Corp, has aggressive plans to exploit the mainland's fire-prevention products market. Managing director Nicholas Groos said Viking had been lured by the burgeoning economic developments and proliferation of new buildings in China, despite fierce competition. The fire-prevention products manufacturer and distributor established its base in the territory 23 years ago as a springboard to China and will bolster its sales on fire-fighting sprinklers in Shanghai. Mr Groos said the company would concentrate on raising awareness of fire prevention. This would be done in co-operation with the Chinese Government. The company said it spent about 10 per cent of turnover to provide training courses for at least 120 mainland customers. Viking aims to penetrate the untapped inland region, setting up two representative offices in Wuhan and Xian next year to beef up relations between the company and customers. Mr Groos said production would be kept in the US to ensure better control of the quality of products, despite cheaper manufacturing costs in China. The US plant generates about eight million sprinklers annually, 20 per cent of worldwide consumption. In China, Viking has 10 sales contracts worth $10 million, of which eight are large-scale jobs in Shanghai. Managing director Winston Suen said the company expected 20 to 30 per cent growth in the next few years, adding that a more promising return would be possible if the political climate improved. Sales in China this year accounted for 60 per cent of the overall turnover of the Hong Kong-based company, while the rest was generated from sales in the territory, Mr Suen said. In Hong Kong, Viking is committed to airport-related projects. It has about 30 contracts with a total value of about $3 million. Mr Suen said he was bullish about demand in the territory.