CPF taps Vietnam for revenue growth

CPF taps Vietnam for revenue growth

The food processing facility of CP Vietnam. The neighbouring country is a budding market for Thai food companies.
The food processing facility of CP Vietnam. The neighbouring country is a budding market for Thai food companies.

CP Vietnam Corporation, a subsidiary of SET-listed Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF), expects 2019 revenue to grow by 10%, driven by higher purchasing power in Vietnam.

Montri Suwanposri, president of CP Vietnam, said the market is rapidly expanding because of Vietnam's GDP growth of 7-8% annually.

The Vietnam government is investing heavily in megaprojects to boost the local economy, Mr Montri said.

"Vietnam has a lot of potential for processed food products and ready-to-eat products, as the behaviour of local consumers has changed," he said.

Mr Montri said Vietnam is a new market for Thai food companies, with a large population of 95 million. The market is driven by young people who have higher spending on food and consumer products.

CP Vietnam plans to produce more ready-to-eat products and expand distribution channels in that market.

"We are very competitive in Vietnam," Mr Montri said. "Southern Vietnam has a lot of opportunities because there are few companies there selling food products, while the northern region has more competitors."

CP Vietnam began its business in 1988 with the government there opening up to foreign investment flows in line with the Doi Moi economic reforms initiated in 1986.

CP Vietnam opened the first representative office in Ho Chi Minh City, then in 1993 it established CP Vietnam Livestock Co to start upstream manufacturing for food products in Vietnam.

In 2011, the company's name was changed to CP Vietnam Corporation. In 2018, CP Vietnam posted revenue of 70-80 billion baht.

Mr Montri said CP Vietnam has three units: farm business (60%), feed business (33%) and food business (7%).

The food business in Vietnam provides two types of products, aquaculture (shrimp and fish) and processed food.

CP Vietnam runs five aquaculture plants with a total capacity of 300,000 tonnes a year. Five plants export to South Korea and Japan, as well as some countries in Southeast Asia and Europe.

For the processed food segment, CP Vietnam produces largely for local consumers.

"We plan to increase the production volume of ready-to-eat products from 3,000 tonnes per year now in order to increase the revenue from food business in the near future," Mr Montri said.

He said the Thai government has given support measures for companies to invest in overseas countries to enhance competitiveness and diversify risk for several years.

Vietnam is a target country in Southeast Asia, and the nation is attracting massive investment flows from foreign companies.

"The government should lend further support to small and medium-sized enterprises in many aspects such as adoption of technology and innovation and accommodation with relevant regulations to increase the capability and efficiency of Thai SMEs," Mr Montri said.

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