Chocolate demand in Asia is booming!
Global - Chocolate demand in Asia is booming say leading company
The shares of Guan Chong Bhd. have soared more than 170% in the past year in Kuala Lumpur as profits doubled, making the producer of chocolate ingredients the best performer on the Bursa Malaysia Consumer Product Index. The MSCI All Country World Index of stocks is broadly flat in the past year.
For Chief Executive Officer Brandon Tay Hoe Lian, Asia’s biggest cocoa bean processor has been riding a wave of improved margins and higher sales. Net income doubled to 189.3 million ringgit (USD45.8 million) last year, and 2019 “is looking as good as last year” because of increased capacity and sustained margins, he said in an interview last week.
Guan Chong began as a family business in the early 1980s in Malaysia’s southern state of Johor. The company has expanded processing facilities over the years and has a capacity now of 250,000 tons, making it one of the world’s top grinders after Barry Callebaut AG, Cargill Inc. and Olam International Ltd.
Cocoa bean processing in Asia jumped almost 10% in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to data last week from the Cocoa Association of Asia. “Demand in the region remains robust for cocoa ingredients,” it said.