KUALA LUMPUR: KFC Holdings (M) Bhd (KFCH) is investing RM25mil in a third poultry processing plant in Johor, which will ensure sufficient supply for its restaurants and provide an alternative contingency supply, chairman Tan Sri Muhammad Ali Hashim said.
He said that since the first bird flu scare in the local market last February, followed by the Singapore ban on chicken imports from Selangor, the group has started to look for geographic diversification of its supply network.
Ali said the group also needed a bigger supply of chicken for its daily operations.
“We are killing two birds with one stone,” he told reporters after the company's AGM yesterday.
The new factory – to start operating by mid next year – will source for chickens farmed around Johor. It will help raise the group's processing capacity by 50% from some 100,000 birds daily at two existing facilities in Port Klang and Bukit Mertajam. “The proposed plant will be financed by internally-generated funds,” Ali said.
On the latest bird flu case in Sungai Buloh last week, Ali said he was confident it was an isolated case, echoing the Veterinary Services Department's statement on Saturday that the situation was under control.
“On our part, we take all measures to make sure our chicken products are safe for consumption,” he said.
He also said KFCH had set up a farm-to-plate emergency response and communications plan covering all business units, including breeder farms, hatchery, contract farms, processing plants and restaurants.
“We are monitoring the situation closely. It has never happened in our farms and we want to keep it that way,” he said.
Ali said sales at KFC restaurants had not been affected by reports of the bird flu, but instead had grown 12% in the past seven days.
On the company's plans for the current financial year ending Dec 31, he said the group intended to open 10 more outlets to bring the number of new outlets this year to 22, matching the 2006 figure.
The firm is also looking at expanding its hypermarket and drive-thru' network.
KFCH expects to improve on its performance this year. Last year, it posted a net profit of RM98.28mil on RM1.52bil revenue.
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