JOHOR BARU: Cocoa-derived food ingredients maker GUAN CHONG BHD will increase its production capacity from 67,000 tonnes to 80,000 tonnes per annum by the end of the year.
Chief executive officer and managing director Brandon Tay Hoe Lian said it was to accommodate a strong demand by chocolate manufacturers globally.
“Chocolates remain popular worldwide and they make perfect gifts for any festivities or happy occasions,” he told StarBiz after the company AGM recently.
The company manufactures and sells cocoa-derived food ingredients such as cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, cocoa cake and cocoa powder.
It is one of the seven major cocoa processors in the country and the cocoa-derived food ingredients are widely used by chocolate makers and confectioneries.
Tay said despite strong demand for the cocoa-derived food ingredients, processors were facing uncertainties in cocoa beans supplies and price fluctuations.
He said bad weather conditions and natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes in major cocoa beans producing countries had caused shortage of cocoa beans supplies.
Tay said Malaysia produced about 25,000 tonnes of cocoa beans yearly and imported the beans for grindings from major producing countries namely Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.
He said with more new cocoa plantations coming up in Sarawak in recent years, this could reduce Malaysia’s imports of cocoa beans about 490,000 tonnes yearly.
“We are now seeing strong demand in cocoa paste for dark chocolate following many scientific researches that eating dark chocolate could help to reduce cardiovascular disease,” said Tay.
For the year ended Dec 31, 2009, Guan Chong registered RM14.92mil net profit on RM642.64mil revenue against RM7.10mil and RM694.33mil net profit and revenue respectively in FY2008. – By Zazali Musa
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