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Guan Chong targets US, European expansion

Date : 08 April 2005

Cocoa processor Guan Chong Bhd, which has 2% of the world market, intends to set up offices and processing plants in the US and Europe and

also make inroads into the Eastern European and Middle Eastern markets.

“With the capacity that we have, our 2% share of the global market and 35.4% of the regional market, we still have plenty of room to expand,” said managing director and chief executive officer Brandon Tay on April 8.

“Our capacity is at a very high level and we have to expand into new markets. The company is looking at the Eastern European, Russia and the Middle East as possible markets.”

He was speaking to reporters after the Pasir Gudang-based manufacturer’s listing on the Main Board. It opened at 70 sen, or five sen above its offer price of 65 sen, with 13,970 shares were traded.

Tay said the company’s expansion would begin with the setting up of marketing offices and cocoa grinding facilities in either Germany or Poland and in New Jersey, the US.

“Initially, we will set up marketing offices in the US and in Europe. By year end, we will also set up cocoa grinding plants and storage facilities. The total investment for the offices and facilities would be less than RM10 million,” said Tay.

“The US and European presence will help us get close to our key markets in the US and Germany and when we expand into Eastern Europe, Russia and the Middle East.”

Guan Chong exports 94% of its products. Under its expansion last year, it invested RM14 million and this year, it is expected to be RM6 million.