KARACHI: National Foods Ltd is setting up its fifth plant in the M4 Industrial City of Faisalabad, said a company official on Tuesday.
Briefing a group of journalists at the Port Qasim factory of the manufacturer of convenience-based food products, the official said the 30-acre Faisalabad plant will be the company’s biggest production facility upon its completion by the end of 2022.
Currently, the company operates three plants in Karachi’s Port Qasim, SITE and Nooriabad industrial estates and one plant in Gujranwala. He didn’t share the size of the investment.
The company posted an unconsolidated profit of Rs725 million for January-March, up 39.3 per cent from a year ago. Its quarterly sales grew 23.4pc to Rs8.4 billion.
Even though the company is one of the major Pakistani exporters of recipe mixes, a sharp devaluation of the local currency against the dollar in recent quarters has left a negative impact on the earnings growth, the official said.
As much as 80 per cent of raw materials used in the company’s 110 products — such as recipe mixes, pickles and spices — are imported. “There’re no imports of ingredients from India as of now,” he said, adding that an improvement in trade relations with the neighbouring country will lead to a reduced cost of production.
Exports contributed 6.6pc to the company’s gross sales in the first nine months of 2021-22. Exports represent the sales made to NF DMCC Dubai, which is a wholly owned subsidiary that National Foods set up in 2012 to boost overseas business.
As for spices, the official said the share of packaged products within the Pakistani market is less than 10pc. “Yet our products [from all segments] reach 32m households every year,” he said.
He said the company fared well through Covid-19, thanks to its large footprint in the convenience-based food segment. With the total market value of almost Rs34bn, National Foods ranks sixth among 24 food and personal care firms listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange. Its share price closed at Rs144.83 on Tuesday, up 0.42pc from a day ago.
Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2022