Tipco angles for global splash

Tipco angles for global splash

Firm to bolster canned fruit and juice sectors

Ekaphol Pongstabhon aims for Tipco to make its own juice brands in Asean and form joint ventures with local partners to expand its business in various countries.
Ekaphol Pongstabhon aims for Tipco to make its own juice brands in Asean and form joint ventures with local partners to expand its business in various countries.

SET-listed Tipco Foods Plc, the country's leading fruit drinks maker, seeks to become a global juice brand within the next three years. A recent move to buy back Suntory's stake in a joint venture is one part of its aggressive expansion plans.

Managing director Ekaphol Pongstabhon said the company's ambitious growth plans include building its own juice brand in Asean, forming joint ventures with local partners to expand its business in various countries and co-packing with other beverage companies.

Tipco is also set to expand its canned fruit segment to cover 70 countries, up from 50. It further aims to export its fruit juices to 50 countries, up from 30.

Its expansion of both canned fruit and fruit juice will focus on Asean, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.

"We will seriously expand our business in the world market and are eyeing overseas investment opportunities. Various strategies will be used to make our products reach more customers," he said.

The company also plans to strengthen its business by upgrading some exclusive distributors overseas to become business partners.

On Tuesday, Tipco told the Stock Exchange of Thailand that it bought the remaining 50% stake in Tipco Food Beverage Co (TFB) from Suntory, the world's leading beverage company from Japan. Tipco wants to put more focus on beverages TFB produces and exports.

In 2007 Tipco took up a 50:50 joint venture with Suntory to help expand its beverages in Thailand and Asean.

Mr Ekaphol projects its export revenue will increase to 53% of total sales over the next three years, up from 50% last year. Last year's export sales grew 18%, mostly from the Philippines, South Korea and the Middle East.

The company sees strong opportunities for fruit juice in Thailand because per capita consumption is still low at 4 million litres per year, compared to developed countries like Canada, which consume 20 million litres per year.

Thailand's fruit juice market is estimated to be worth 14 billion baht, of which Tipco controls 13%.

Last year, Tipco generated 5.2 billion baht in revenue, up 13% from 2015, with a 31.5% fall in net profit to 813 million.

Tipco shares closed yesterday on the SET at 14.30 baht, up 20 satang, in trade worth 75.4 million baht.

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