ORNAMENTAL fish breeder Xian Leng Holdings Bhd has embarked on a programme to increase its presence locally, and to add more variety to its product range.
Xian Leng executive director C.S. Chua said the company has initiated talks with several established local ornamental fish breeders to either form joint-venture partnerships or acquire their retail network.
Our ornamental fish business is largely export-oriented, but we felt we should not neglect the local market, he told StarBiz in an interview in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
However, Chua said the talks were still at the preliminary stage and no firm undertakings had been made.
At present, the company has one ornamental fish retail outlet each in Batu Pahat and Shah Alam. Xian Leng intends to rapidly establish outlets in Penang, Malacca and Johor Baru.
Xian Leng's mainstay product is the commercially bred Asian arowana, which constitute about 65% of its business. Its other products are Japanese koi and flowerhorn fishes.
Xian Leng managing director Ng Huan Tong said the company was also looking to acquire suitable areas to set up new fish farms to complement its existing two fish farms in Batu Pahat.
However, the area which we want to acquire must have a good source of clean and fresh water. We want to ensure our fishes are of good quality, he said, adding that water quality was important in the breeding of ornamental fish.
Ng also said China was expected to become a major market for the arowana fish as the country's middle-class population was increasing rapidly.
Another Xian Leng executive director, Tan Cheng Kiat, said the company had embarked on long-term co-operation with local and foreign universities to develop new techniques and technologies in breeding ornamental fish.
We should continue looking at acquiring new methods that can help us improve products and breeding practices, he added.
The company posted a higher pre-tax profit of RM21.5mil on revenue of RM49.5mil for the year ended Jan 31, 2003, compared with pre-tax profit of RM13.9mil and revenue of RM32.1mil previously.