Britannia plans Rs 1,000 cr plant in Maharashtra



FMCG major Britannia Industries plans to set up its largest plant at Ranjangaon Food Park in Maharashtra with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore, its chairman Nusli Wadia announced on Monday.

"The company is planning to set up its largest plant at the Ranjangaon Food Park...," Wadia told shareholders at the 98th Annual General Meeting here.

Addressing a press conference later, Managing Director Varun Berry said: "We have made an application to Maharashtra government and we are looking at a mega food park. 

"It (plant) would be made with an investment of Rs 1,000 crore and the investment would go for four to five years." 

To start with, the plant will have six biscuits lines, one cake line and one filled croissants line, Berry said.

The biscuit maker is also looking at putting up a plant in Nepal and Rs 55 crore would be invested in the Himalayan country, he said. 

The company entered into a joint venture agreement with Chipita S.A., a Greek company, for the manufacture and sale of ready-to-eat filled croissants which is a very large category in certain countries demographically similar to India.

According to the company's latest annual report, it will continue to scout for many such profitable growth opportunities to ensure that it stays ahead of the market while transforming itself into a total foods company.

Wadia said that the focus of the company would be on investments on new products and cost reduction. 

As he also said that the company was planning to set up a dairy project, Berry said progress in this was to the tune of 85 per cent. "If we have dairy back-in, it is going to be Ranjangaon," he said adding that the belt is known as the highest cow milk producer across the country. 

According to Berry, the company acquired 96 acres of land for the Ranjangaon project and is looking at another 48 acres.

Meanwhile, the report said that the company remains committed to the strategy of strengthening its position in bastion categories - biscuit, cake, rusk and bread.

Wadia said the company has the higher ratio for own manufacturing as compared to third party manufacturing. Presently, own manufacturing constitutes about 55 per cent and in two years' time, it is expected to be 65 per cent. 

The report also said a greenfield plant was underway in Assam. 

To improve the company's competitiveness in the international market, a greenfield project in the Mundra Special Economic Zone was being put up and was expected to be commissioned in the coming year, it added.

The company is in the process of consolidating its brands and claimed to have around eight power brands, but it is looking to invest largely on its top five brands.

"Our investments were fragmented on a lot of brands. Money will now be spent on Top 5 brands", Berry said.The company is also looking to consolidate its cream biscuit category, where it has three brands such as Pure Magic, Treat and Bourbon. 

"We are looking to consolidate this category further," said Vice President, Marketing, Ali Harris Shere.

The premium cream category market is of Rs1,800 crore and Britannia has 35 per cent market share in this space, Shere said.

The biscuit maker's consolidated net profit in the June quarter declined by 1.4 per cent to Rs 216.12 crore as against to Rs 219.21 crore in the year-ago period.

Berry said the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has had short term impact in June and July. - IANS