Uni-President buys out RFM President of the Philippines

Dec 04, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 4, 2003 (CENS)--Uni-President Enterprise Co., Taiwan's leading food-processing company, recently acquired all stakes of a Philippine-based instant-noodle maker, RFM President Enterprise Corp., which is a joint venture between the local food giant and the Philippines-based RFM Group.

Formerly Uni-President held a 51% stake in the venture. After acquiring the 49% stake owned by RFM, Uni-President make the instant-noodle venture company as one of its wholly owned overseas subsidiaries.

With paid-in capital of 460 million Philippine pesos, RFM President is chaired by C.H. Lo, executive vice president of the Uni-President Group.

C.T. Lee, president of RFM President, said his company has deployed 38 distributors in the Philippines in October to boost sales. The company currently is capable of selling 80,000 up to 90,000 cartons of instant noodles per month, compared to only 20,000 cartons in the previous months.

Lee said in the Philippines, instant noodle is mainly marketed through retail shops, rather than convenience stores. Accordingly, Uni-President's 192 7-Eleven convenience stores has contributed little to the sales of instant noodle in the Philippines.

The company anticipated it would boost sales fourfold next year because of the establishment of retail channels. With monthly sales of 20 million pesos, the company is striving to score 60 million pesos in monthly sales to break even.

In view of the steady sales increase, FRM President will install an additional instant-noodle production line and set up a beverage production line next year. The company expected to roll out 450,000 cartons of instant noodle per month after construction of these new production lines is completed.

Statistics prepared by Uni-President show the Philippines has an appetite to consume 1.5 billion packs of instant noodles per year. At present, the Philippines-based Lucky Mi commands 65% of the nation's instant-noodle market, followed by Maggie and Payless, each accounting for 10%.
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