South Korea's biggest confectioner Lotte Confectionery Co. said Wednesday that it plans to build its second plant in India by July next year.
Lotte will spend 66 billion won ($61.8 million) to build the plant in the northern Haryana province, which will produce Choco Pies worth 38 billion won a year. Choco Pies, chocolate-covered, marshmallow-filled snack cakes, are one of the company's flagship products.
In 2010, Lotte built its first Indian plant in Chennai, a city on the country's southeastern coast.
The company tapped the country's confection market in May 2004 by taking over about an 80 percent stake in Parrys Confectionery Ltd., an Indian confectioner, whose name was changed to Lotte India Corp.
Lotte India posted 100 billion won in sales last year, the South Korean company said.
Lotte has looked to expand its business overseas as its 2013 earnings decreased due to an economic slump. Last December, the company took ownership of K.S. Sulemanji Esmailji & Sons Ltd.
30.55 percent stake after buying a 69.45 percent stake in October 2010. In July last year, Lotte acquired Kazakhstan's largest confectionery company, Rakhat JSC, in a bid to expand its presence in Central Asian countries.
Lotte Confectionery has four Chinese subsidiaries -- Lotte China Investment Co., Lotte China Foods Co., Lotte Qingdao Foods Co. and Lotte Ice (Shandong) Co. -- under its wings.
The local confectioner posted 54.79 billion won in net profit in 2013, down 39 percent from 89.78 billion won a year ago. Its operating profit tumbled 20.5 percent to 91.78 billion won, but sales rose 6 percent to 1.98 trillion won.
The company cited a protracted economic downturn as the main reason for its faltering 2013 performance. (Yonhap)