VILNIUS - Rokiskio Suris, a leading Lithuanian dairy group, plans to invest 10.1 million euros in expansion this year.
"The investments will go to the dairy in Rokiskis. Recent trends show that the fresh cheese market is becoming oversupplied. Revenue from that market fluctuate unpredictably, which is not good for a long-term business. We decided to reduce the production of fresh cheeses and increase that of hard cheeses," Rokiskio Suris CEO Dalius Trumpa told BNS.
This year, the group expects to increase sales in Asia, which is forecast to see growth in dairy consumption in the near term.
Rokiskio Suris did not export its products to China last year because it had not buyers there, but Trumpa said the company would continue to make efforts to gain a foothold in the huge Asian market.
"China is a growing market with a potential and we are not abandoning it, but everything is done very slowly there. You can always sell if you cut the price, but it will be very difficult to raise it later. We want to enter that market little by little with a good price," he said.
Rokiskio Suris exported mozzarella cheese and lactose to China in 2017.
The group will also continue to try to enter the Japanese, Singaporean, Indonesian, Philippine and other Asian markets, and to expand its exports to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
It invested 9.8 million euros in hard cheese production last year.
"The hard cheese ripening capacity is doubled. The company is capable of ripening 12,000 tons of cheese at a time," Rokiskio Suris said.
The group's consolidated net profits plunged to 1.918 million euros last year as sales revenue dropped by 16.4 percent to 203.675 million euros.