Fri, 27 Jun 2003

Indofood expects 15% rise in sales

Evi Mariani, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Giant instant-noodle maker PT Indofood Sukses Makmur expected sales to grow by 10 percent to 15 percent this year from Rp 16.5 trillion (US$2 billion) last year, company president Eva Riyanti Hutapea said on Thursday following a shareholders meeting.

She did not give any reasons for the sales increase.

The company reported an 8 percent increase in 2002 net profit to Rp 802.6 billion, up from Rp 746.3 billion in 2001.

The company earned most of the profit from its instant noodles division, which contributed about 50 percent to the group's operating profit.

Indeed, with 11 brands of instant noodles, the company has an 88 percent share of the Indonesian instant noodle market.

During the meeting, Indofood shareholders approve a proposal from the management to allocate 30 percent of the company's net profit as dividends.

The meeting also appointed two new commissioners: Edward A. Tortorici and Paul F. Wallace, replacing Michael J.A. Healy and Ronald A. Brown.

Elsewhere, Eva said the company's net profit in the first quarter of this year declined by 34 percent to Rp 202 billion from Rp 309 billion over the same period last year due to spending on innovations.

She said that gross profit and operating profit increased by 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

As part of this year marketing innovations, Indofood, in cooperation with Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), has assisted more than 100 small-scale entrepreneurs in rural areas in Banten to set up mom-and-pop stores selling mostly Indofood products. These stores are known as warung barokah and tokcer.

"We, in cooperation with BRI, have channeled loans for small entrepreneurs in towns and villages to establish warung," said Hutapea. "BRI provides the loans while Indofood ensures supplies and helps refurbish the shops."

She targeted the establishment of another 200 warung barokah and tokcer by the end of this year.