Thai Wah gearing up for Indochina

Thai Wah gearing up for Indochina

Ventures in Cambodia, Vietnam to aid growth

Workers load cassava, the raw material used to make tapioca starch, a core product of Thai Wah. The firm aims to become a leading small-cap firm in Asean. PRASIT TUNGPRASERT
Workers load cassava, the raw material used to make tapioca starch, a core product of Thai Wah. The firm aims to become a leading small-cap firm in Asean. PRASIT TUNGPRASERT

SET-listed Thai Wah Plc (TWPC), Thailand's top maker of tapioca and vermicelli products, plans to invest 1-2 billion baht during 2017-19 to expand across Indochina.

Chief executive Ho Ren Hua said the company earlier this year founded two new subsidiaries in Cambodia and Vietnam that are set to start operations by the second half of 2017.

TWPC Investment Cambodia Co, with paid-up capital of 35 million baht, will run manufacturing and local distribution for tapioca starch, while Thai Wah Vietnam Co, with 35 million in registered capital, will operate a plant (Thai Wah's third in the country) and handle local distribution of vermicelli products in Vietnam.

Mr Ho said the company is also seeking investment opportunities in Laos and Myanmar for tapioca and vermicelli products.

Investment in those countries will take the form of wholly-owned investments and acquisitions.

"I expect to disclose at least one to two new investment deals by 2018, mainly small and medium-scale," Mr Ho said. "More importantly, Thai Wah's future expansion has to increase return on investment to its shareholders in the long run, so the company needs to invest wisely."

He said Thai Wah aims to become a leading small-cap company in Asean, which is recognised for consistency and strict financial discipline.

From 2017 on, the company will pursue a high single-digit growth in its revenue and long-term sustainability.

Mr Ho said the company is also committed to an 11-billion-baht revenue goal by 2020.

Thai Wah reported its revenue rose 11.5% last year to 6.2 billion baht, while its net profit rose by 53.8% to 669 million.

Incorporated in 1947 and originally known as Thai Wah Co, Thai Wah was an amalgamation between two SET-listed companies of Thai Wah Group -- Thai Wah Starch Plc, Thailand's top tapioca product manufacturer and exporter, and Thai Wah Food Products Plc, the biggest vermicelli producer. The merger was completed in October 2015.

Thai Wah runs four manufacturing plants for tapioca starch and one factory for vermicelli products in Thailand.

TWPC shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 9.75 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 16.8 million baht.

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