Indofood to open noodle factory in Morocco, sixth in Africa
Bagus BT Saragih
The Jakarta Post
Indonesia's Indofood CBP Sukses Makmur (ICBC) plans to begin construction of its instant noodle factory in Morocco this year, making the country the sixth African nation to have an Indofood plant after Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Ethiopia, an Indofood executive has said.
The construction was based on the high demand of Indofood's most popular instant noodle brand, Indomie, which had also been considered the most popular instant noodle in Western Africa, said Hubert Sadeli, Indofood regional manager for Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.
'The construction and other licensing-related processes may take nine months, so we hope that our Moroccan factory can begin trial runs, next year,' Hubert told The Jakarta Post in Johannesburg, South Africa, over the weekend.
When asked how much the total investment value for the factory was, he said, 'only around US$5 million.' Hubert also did not disclose the total production capacity for the factory.
The Indomie plant in Ethiopia, which began construction in late 2013, meanwhile, would commence operations by the end of this year, said Hubert. The plant was expected to also supply Indomie to Somalia, Sudan and Djibouti, he added.
The latest Indomie factory in Africa to commence operations is its plant in Kenya. Investment for the factory reportedly reached $7.3 million. With maximum production reaching 115 million packs per year, the factory also supplies Indomie to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
South Africa, meanwhile, was not on Indofood's priority list for factory construction, despite its status as the second-largest economy in Africa after Nigeria. 'Indomie in South Africa is not as popular as it is in Nigeria,' Hubert said.
Pontas Parsaoran Tobing, the head of Indonesian Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) in Johannesburg, said that extra effort was needed to penetrate the South African market.
'It would be great if Indomie was able to build a plant in South Africa because the country could serve as gateway to several landlocked countries surrounding it such as Lesotho and Swaziland,' he said.
Indofood production in Africa dates back to 1995 when its first Nigerian plant began operations. It has been dubbed the largest instant noodle manufacturing plant in Africa.
Other Indomie factories overseas include those in Malaysia, Serbia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Syria.
As part of its overseas expansion, ICBP said recently that it plans to acquire a 9.88 percent stake in Japanese pizza and bread manufacturer JC Comsa Corp.
ICBP would spend Â¥284 million (US$2.4 million) from its internal cash to carry out the corporate action, the company said in a statement recently.
ICBP, a consumer brand product subsidiary of publicly listed consumer goods giant PT Indofood Sukses Makmur (INDF), contributed 47.7 percent of its parent company's total net sales of Rp 63.6 trillion ($4.87 billion) with noodles becoming the largest earner.
Instant noodles made up 66.6 percent, or Rp 19.6 trillion, of ICBP's total net sales last year of Rp 29.9 trillion.
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