Universal Robina reveals international expansion plans

By Dominique Patton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Caffeine Coffee

Philippines-based Universal Robina will spend P5.6 billion (€87m)
this year to expand its branded foods range and increase its
presence in other Asian markets, URC president Lance Gokongwei told
reporters last week.

The company, which makes three quarters of its revenue from branded food, said it wants to expand its beverage line and grow its presence in China, Thailand and other Asian markets.

Some P2.84 billion of its capital expenditure this year will go towards the growth of consumer food operations.

URC claims to be the Philippines' market leader in several categories including snacks, sweets and chocolates. It is also increasingly active in the beverage segment.

It has just opened a manufacturing plant for its successful C2 green tea product in Vietnam, according to a report in the Philippine Daily Inquirer​, and the company has also launched Bull Fighter, a new energy drink, and Rush, a fitness drink.

In its commodities unit, the URC president said there are plans to boost sugar milling capacity to 5,000 tons of cane a day this year from 4,500 tons. This will rise to a further 9,000 tons a day in 2007.

He added that the recent government closure of its chocolate and biscuits plant in Pasig city "had no legal basis"​ and that the company would meet with officials to demand that the order be lifted.

Local media reported last week that closure of the plant that employs 900 people was due to "illegal discharge of waste and other toxic substances".​ Last year, the firm's coffee plant in Bgy Rosario was also closed for the similar reasons.

URC claims the chocolate plant has passed all air emission standards.

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