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F&N Set To Become Top Food And Beverage Player

News From : DagangHalal.com (11 Sep 2009)

AYUTTHAYA: Fraser & Neave Holdings Bhd (F&N) is set to anchor itself as a world-class regional food and beverage player with the commencement of its RM250mil greenfield liquid milk plant in Rojana, Thailand.

Chief executive officer Tan Ang Meng said the Indochina and Thai markets with a population of some 200 million offered huge potential and he expected F&N’s Thai dairy business to grow to RM2bil per annum within five years.

“We are excited about the potential of this business especially in this end of the world and we are confident about being a serious player,” he told reporters after opening the plant in the ancient Thai capital city of Ayutthaya 70km north of Bangkok.

The Rojana plant would primarily cater to the Thai, Myanmar and Indochina markets.

Located on a 23ha site, the plant has a total capacity of 3.5 million cans per day or an annual production of about 11 million cases. It will employ 304 permanent and 130 temporary staff.

“The dairies division is now a key pillar of F&N’s overall business and we are investing RM600mil to build two new plants in Rojana and Pulau Indah to drive the business,” Ang said.

Turnover of the dairies division increased from RM600mil in 2006 to RM1.95bil last year. Sales revenue for the first nine months of 2009 was RM1.4bil and operating profits improved by 50% to RM97.1mil from a year ago

“The dairies division has clearly emerged as a major growth engine for the group and currently accounts for 51% of sales revenue and 40% of operating profits,” Ang said.

F&N Dairies has significant presence in Thailand in the sweetened condensed, evaporated, sterilised and UHT segments.

Currently ranked among the top five food and beverage companies in Thailand, F&N Dairies Thailand is expected to achieve sales revenue of RM900mil this year.

Tan said the Thai plant would serve as a blueprint for the RM350mil plant at the Pulau Indah Halal Hub in Selangor, which is targeted to commence construction later this year.

The new plant on a 37.4-acre site at Pulau Indah is targeted for completion by 2011-2012.

In Malaysia, F&N Dairies is the dominant player in the canned milk segment, accounting for over 60% and about 80% in the sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk markets respectively. Sales revenue is expected to exceed RM1bil this year.

Tan said the combined capacity of the Thai and Malaysian plants would offer F&N the scale and flexibility to meet the demand of its export markets.

He said F&N also aimed to further leverage the halal credentials of its new Malaysian plant to serve the growing and relatively untapped Muslim markets in the Middle East, Africa and Indonesia.

Source: thestar online

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