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European Food plans expansion into Asean

European Food, a leading local manufacturer of confectionery products, has developed a medium-term strategy to meet the challenge of the coming Asean Economic Community, including a plan to set up its first overseas factory somewhere in the region.

Major candidate countries are Malaysia, Vietnam and Burma, the company’s president Somchai Wachakorn told a news conference yesterday. It may set up a new factory or acquire an existing one.

He added that the company had set aside a significant investment budget of Bt200 million to Bt300 million for overseas expansion.

The company aims to strengthen its local operations as well as expand its confectionery business to Asean in the next three to five years.

He said that by having factories in Asean, the company would save transport costs and lead-time. It currently takes about a week to deliver its confectionery products from Thailand to certain markets within Asean.

European Food has two confectionery factories currently, at Bang Na-Trat Road Kilometre 36 and in Prachin Buri province.

European Foods was established on November 13, 1984, on Poochaosamingprai Road, Samut Prakan, with Bt5 million in authorised capital. The company’s major confectionery products are Peking wafer, Pipo Jelly, Euro Custard Cake, Ellse, and Euro Choco Pie.

Somchai said European Food expected Bt3.1 billion in sales this year, excluding another Bt500 million from its original equipment manufacturing (OEM) business.

“We expect our growth to be more than 20 per cent this year,” he added.

Somchai said exports currently contributed about 15 per cent of sales, and 70 per cent of exports were to Asean, and the rest to Japan, the Middle East, North America and Europe.

He said the company had 80 per cent of Thailand’s Bt1.5-billion market for long-shelf-life bakery products.

European Food yesterday launched its first sports marketing campaign, costing Bt50 million, by sponsoring TrueVisions’ live broadcasts of English Premier League soccer matches.

Source: The Nation

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