Taipei, June 22 (CNA) A major food producer in Taiwan said Friday it is optimistic about the growth of the food industry in the next decade and will increase its investments on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.
"The food industry can expect another golden time of 10 years,therefore, we'll increase our investment," said Lo Chih-hsien,president of the Uni-President Group.
Lo said that the expansion plan has been in effect since 2011 and is expected to peak over the next two years.
He said the group purchased land in Huko, Hsinchu County last year with the aim of building a food manufacturing complex, distribution base and tourist park.
In China, the group is eying the beverage and instant noodle businesses, he said at a shareholders' meeting of Uni-President Enterprise Corp.
Uni-President will construct 17 new plants in China, which are expected to be completed over the next two years, Lo said.
In addition, the group will continue its expansion in Southeast Asia, he said, noting that Asia will be the focus of its globaldevelopment, he said.
Lo said the enterprise faced substantial challenges in 2011,which prevented it from reaching its revenue target for last yearbut it nonetheless achieved annual growth.
Uni-President reported unconsolidated revenues of NT$51.8 billionin 2011, or an annual growth of 5.9 percent. Its net income was NT$9.4 billion, down 13.6 percent year-on-year, with the earnings per share of around NT$2.08.
Lo said that as of 2011, the group had nearly 80 brands thatwere producing annual revenue of over NT$100 million, and more than 100 SKUs (stock keeping units) that were bringing in annualrevenue of over NT$100 million.
The market value of Uni-President broke the NT$200 billion markfor the first time in July 2011, setting a new record in the group's 44-year history, according to Lo.
(By Chao Hsiao-hui and Lilian Wu)