CPF to focus on Vietnam’s middle class

CP Vietnam Corporation, a unit of the SET-listed Charoen Pokphand Foods Plc (CPF), will beef up expansion into food processing from live animals to cater to demand from that country’s growing middle class.

“In the foreseeable future, the group’s business here will focus more on food processing and ready-to-eat food, while brands and marketing will become more important in Vietnam,” said Sooksunt Jiumjaiswanglerg, the chief executive of CP Vietnam Corporation (CPV).

The company, formerly known as CP Vietnam Livestock Corporation, is a leading integrated livestock and aquaculture concern in the country.

Established in 1993, CPV’s integrated livestock and aquaculture businesses span the entire food production chain _ the manufacture and distribution of animal feed, the breeding and farming of livestock and aquatic animals and the processing and production of meat and packaged food products.

Currently, 90% of CP businesses in Vietnam are concerned with animal feed, feed meal and aquatic animal farming, with food processing and ready-to-eat food accounting for only 10%.

CPV saw strong growth in each of the past five years, averaging 29% annually.

Last year, the company achieved revenue of 30 trillion dong (44.4 billion baht), up by 50% from 2010.

The company projects revenue growth of 15% this year.

“Vietnam’s economic growth is forecast at 6% next year, and the country is rich in marine natural resources,” said Mr Sooksunt.

“This rising affluence will result in an expansion in financial services and basic sectors such as food and beverage.”

With 68% of the country’s 90 million residents under the age of 40, Vietnam’s expanding workforce is expected to drive consumer spending over the next 10-15 years, he said. Vietnam’s middle class comprises 7 million families, with the number expected to double in five years.

(Source: http://www.bangkokpost.com)