Oishi to invest B1.2bn in 2017

Oishi to invest B1.2bn in 2017

Mr Marut (left), Mr Paisarn and Mrs Jesdakorn pose during a media briefing on Oishi's 2017 expansion plans, focusing on product innovation, brand engagement and distribution.
Mr Marut (left), Mr Paisarn and Mrs Jesdakorn pose during a media briefing on Oishi's 2017 expansion plans, focusing on product innovation, brand engagement and distribution.

SET-listed Oishi Group Plc has hiked its investment budget for fiscal 2017 by more than 70% to 1.2 billion baht to expand its food and drink business next year.

President and chief executive Marut Buranasetkul said the company set a higher investment budget for fiscal 2017, which began on Oct 1, even though consumer purchasing power may not return to normal as expected next year.

"We're confident in the government's planned investment and stimulus measures set for next year," said Mr Marut.

"We believe business can continuously move forward without any negative incidents," he added.

Of the total 1.2 billion baht, about 600 million will be spent on beverage expansion, 300 million on food and the remaining 300 million for other categories including machine maintenance and distribution enhancement.

"We will continue to expand our food and beverage businesses but in a more cautious manner, because we want to have stable growth, both in sales and profits, via three key strategies: product innovation, brand engagement and distribution excellence," said Mr Marut.

Paisarn Aowsathaporn, executive vice-president for Oishi's food division, said the company will facilitate growth by continuously revamping its food brands in fiscal 2017.

The company plans to launch Oishi Eaterium, a new Japanese restaurant brand, early next month. The first Oishi Eaterium restaurant will open at Central Festival EastVille shopping project on Ekamai-Ram Intra Road.

Apart from the Oishi Eaterium brand, the company also plans to develop a new eatery to be opened at Big C Supercenter branches.

It will continue to revamp its Japanese food brands including Oishi Buffet, Nikuya, and Kakashi to be more modern, attractive and cost-friendly for customers.

"We started to turn around our food business last year after the restaurant market had been stagnant for 3-5 years," said Mr Marut. "We want to have stable growth and build our brands to be in line with our dynamic customers."

As of Sept 30, Oishi had 242 restaurants in Thailand under various brands. It also plans to open Shabushi restaurants in Laos and Cambodia in 2017 and in Vietnam in 2018.

The company plans to open 15 new restaurants in 2017 and may close three branches in poor locations.

Meanwhile, Jesdakorn Ghosh, the company's vice-president for its beverage division, said Thailand's ready-to-drink tea market dropped by 5% in the first nine months of this year.

The ready-to-drink tea market is valued at 16 billion baht. Of the total, about 60% is from ready-to-drink green tea, 10% each for herbal and black tea and the remaining 20% for others. Oishi is now the market leader in the ready-to-drink green tea market with 43% market share.

To continue its growth, the company will collaborate more with companies under the Thai Beverage Group umbrella to boost manufacturing and distribution efficiency. It also plans to export Oishi Kabusecha tea to Europe and the Middle East.

Mr Marut said Oishi's sales for the 2016 fiscal year ending Sept 30 increased by 8% to 10.4 billion baht, with net profit surging 90% to 887 million.

OISHI shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 132 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 4.1 million baht.

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