Sindhu J. Bhattacharya

New Delhi, June 28

LAST fiscal, the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) became the first Indian dairy products company to treble its export sales to Rs 115 crore. However, the federation's topline grew just 1.4 per cent in 2004-05 to reach Rs 2,922.53 crore.

The federation's Chairman, Dr V. Kurien, said the lower-than-expected topline growth was due to lower milk procurement during the first half of the year and unfavourable commodity market prices.

However, GCMMF's (which markets the Amul brand of products) consumer packs performed well during the year under review to record a 12-per cent growth.

"I am pleased to note the federation has done remarkably well in most of the consumer packs. A co-operative must increasingly rely on branded products - rather than commodities - to achieve power in the market," Dr Kurien said in the federation's latest Annual Report.

Despite lower procurement during the first half of the last fiscal, total milk procurement by the member unions of GCMMF grew 15.2 per cent to average 58.89 lakh kg per day.

Leading the sales growth of GCMMF's consumer packs business, Amul Milk in pouches registered 36 per cent in value terms. Sales of Amul Ultra Heat Treatment Milk were up 23 per cent. Amul ice-cream sales were up 10 per cent and Amul Butter 4.5 per cent.

With sales of Rs 626 crore, Amul Milk in pouches became the largest contributor to GCMMF's turnover last fiscal. To further strengthen its milk business, the federation has decided to enter several new markets with this product in the current year.

The federation also succeeded in establishing its distribution network in small towns last fiscal, by adding 900 distributors.

"This initiative has already started yielding results, in the form of increasing availability of our products in small towns and thereby generating additional business," Dr Kurien said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated June 29, 2005)
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