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Suguna Poultry sets its sights on processed food sector

Pratim Ranjan Bose

Kolkata , Aug. 12

SUGUNA Poultry Farm Ltd, the country's largest producer and exporter of broiler chicken, is planning to foray into the processed food sector this fiscal.

The company, which has also firmed up plans to set up a processing unit in West Bengal, currently owns a chicken meat processing unit at Coimbatore and is a supplier to MNC brands such as McDonalds and KFC.

Targeting a 35 per cent growth in turnover to Rs 820 crore in 2004-05, it is also expanding its presence across the country and has firmed up investments of Rs 180 crore for the next three years.

The company has entered into contract farming in six States; it has now added West Bengal to this map and will enter Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi and Haryana this year.

Mr T. Srinithi, General Manager, told Business Line that the company has finalised the launch of five ready-to-cook products under the existing Sugie's brand name. More such products would be rolled out shortly, to be followed by ready-to-eat products, which would be marketed through dealership networks across the country.

He, however, clarified that the company would not expand its activities beyond broiler chicken meat. "We will continue to be a broiler company," he said.

While packaging requirements are currently met through imports, the company remains on the lookout for tie-ups with a domestic packaging unit for future growth in processed food retailing.

To support its foray into processed food, the processing capacity will also be doubled from the existing 40,000 birds to 80,000 birds by next fiscal. "We are planning to set up a new processing unit in West Bengal next year at an investment of Rs 15 crore," he said, adding that more such units would follow in due course.

Though the company's existing processing unit at Coimbatore is a joint venture with Supreme Foods Company of Saudi Arabia, Mr Srinithi ruled out the possibility of any such joint ventures in the future. During the past two years, the company has run up exports of Rs 50 crore to West Asia. This year, it has targeted an export turnover of Rs 70 crore.

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