Hershey invests RM816m in Malaysia plant



KUALA LUMPUR: The Hershey Co, North America’s biggest chocolate maker, will invest RM816mil in a new state-of-the-art confectionery plant in Johor to meet growing demand for its products in the region.

It will be Hershey’s single largest investment in Asia in 18 years of its presence in the region.

The plant is expected to generate annual sales of between US$200mil (RM636mil) and US$300mil (RM954mil) within the first three years of operations.

Hershey senior vice-president and chief supply-chain officer Terence O’Day said that consumers across Asia were discovering a range of Hershey confectionary products, and that China, in particular, was growing faster than any other market.

“Our new plant would feature the latest confectionary manufacturing technology and complement production at our existing joint-venture plant in China,” he said after the joint announcement with the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida)yesterday.

O’Day said the plant would bein the Iskandar-Senai free tade zone. It would measure 700,000 sq ft with expansion capacity to meet future needs.

He anticipates the plant to employ more than 400 locals in various capacities, including management roles, when it is completed in 2015.

Mida chief executive officer Datuk Noharuddin Nordin said it was an honour that Hershey had selected Malaysia as the site for its manufacturing plant.

Malaysia was chosen for its well-educated potential workforce, stable political environment, a strong supply-chain infrastructure and globally recognised halal food manufacturing certification.

Noharuddin noted that this was testament to the continued attractiveness of Malaysia to multinationals that were planning substantial commitments in the region.

“This project would bring years of economic benefits to Malaysia in the form of jobs and business for local suppliers,” he said.

This is because Hershey, as pointed out by O’Day, planned to source as much raw material as possible for its plant locally.

The plant is a strategic geographical choice that provides Hershey with easy distribution access to more than 25 markets across Asia.

It will produce four of five global brands, namely, Hershey’s Kisses, Ice Breakers, Reese's and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars.

 Ref: The Star Saturday October 5, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM 



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