Guan Chong Bhd has approved capital spending (capex) of € 25 million (RM120 million) for the ongoing development of its latest cocoa ingredient plant in Ivory Coast.
As the world’s fourth largest cocoa grinder, the capex will be part of efforts to boost its role in global markets for the financial year ending December 31 , 2020 (FY2020).
Company managing director and chief executive Brandon Tay Hoe Lian said its expansion is still continuing, backed by a steady and long-term increase in global cocoa ingredient use. The long-term market and expectations remain strong, given the currently high demand for chocolate due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While waiting for obstacles to remain in the immediate future, he said Guan Chong will concentrate on improving its production cycle while at the same time developing markets through its exports to Europe and Ivoire.
The new plant would increase Guan Chong’s cocoa grinding capability to 310,000 tons per annum, relative to currently 250,000 tons per annum. The extension brings Guan Chong closer to a crucial source of raw material, enables exposure to the core European customer sector and offers considerable cost savings.
In January it also completed the purchase of Schokinag Holding GmbH, an international chocolate maker located in Germany. When finished, Schokinag can use up to 50 per cent of Ivory Coast’s grinding power. Expansion into both Ivory Coast and Germany would offer synergistic benefits to the company, as it strives to improve its role as a core player in the global chocolate industry.