GEORGETOWN: APP Industries Bhd would start its first shipment of high fire-resistant fondue and hot pot cookware to Japan in the fourth quarter this year.
APP managing director Ow Hang-Sen told StarBiz the group had invested some RM1mil in its plant in Kamunting Industrial Estate to produce such ceramic cookware.
“The ceramic cookware is equipped with a heating conducting element, enabling it to be used on a hot plate.
“This reduces the consumption of energy substantially,” he said.
Ow said APP’s Japanese customers used to oursource the production of such ceramic cookware to manufacturers in China.
“But they have stopped as there were many problems with the quality.
“The Japanese customers have already qualified our products and we would send the first shipment to them before the end of the year,” he said.
Ow said the market for such ceramic cookware was growing in Japan, as hot pot dishes were very popular.
“We are eyeing also the markets in South Korea, Taiwan and the US, where there are a lot of Chinese restaurants,” he said, adding that such ceramic cookware yielded good profit margins.
Ow said the group started acquiring the technology to make fondue and hot pot ceramic cookware from Switzerland about two years ago.
“The ceramic cookware we make for the Swiss market works on gas stoves,” he said.
Ow said the group was confident that this new business would return the group to the black by end-2009.
APP had registered losses for the past two financial years.
The group’s gearing is currently less than 3% of its RM44mil paid-up capital, compared to over 3% two years ago.
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