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Perfetti wants bigger bite of India

S Kalyana Ramanathan  |  New Delhi 

Third manufacturing plant likely in Uttaranchal or Himachal Pradesh.
Confectionery major Perfetti Van Melle is planning to make India one of its largest operations outside Italy, at par with China and the Netherlands. The company has five plants in Italy and over 50 worldwide.
Perfetti Van Melle India wants to upscale operations in the country by setting up a third manufacturing plant, possibly in Uttaranchal or Himachal Pradesh, where fiscal incentives are easily available.
Perfetti has two plants in India, one near Chennai where "chewy" candies are made, and another in Manesar, Haryana, where the chewing gum brands are manufactured.
The plant in Manesar was a greenfield project that the company had started in the mid-1990s, while the second plant in Chennai came under its fold through its global acquisition of Dutch company Van Melle in 2001.
Stefano Pelle, Perfetti vice-president and chief operating officer for Russia and South Asia, said the third plant would have "limited lines" in terms of the number of products rolled out.
Pelle said with revenue in excess of Rs 500 crore, the Indian operations grew at 15 per cent in 2005.
"The compounded annual growth rate for us in the last 10 years was 34 per cent. With some big launches planned, we expect 2006 to be even better," he said.
Perfetti in India makes some of the leading brands of candies and chewing gums like Alpenliebe, Center fresh, Cofitos, Chlor-mint and Mentos. Perfetti plans to launch 7-10 brands in 2006, taking the total number of the company's brands in India to almost 30 by the end of the year.
Perfetti's global portfolio consists of 50-odd brands. Perfetti India had launched 13 brands in 2004 and seven in 2005.
"This year's launch will have completely new brands and some variants of the existing ones," he said.
Perfetti also plans to invest close to Rs 20 crore on fixed assets at its existing plants in Chennai and Manesar.
Since its entry in India in 1995, the company had invested around Rs 200 crore on fixed assets, Pelle said.
The regions covering South Asia, Russia and parts of Africa contribute 13 per cent of Perfetti's revenue globally and 20 per cent in terms of volume.

First Published: Mon, February 13 2006. 00:00 IST
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