April 1, 2008 / 8:24 PM / in 11 years

Peru's Alicorp sees sales at $2 billion

CALLAO, Peru (Reuters) - Alicorp (ALI.LM), one of the largest food processors in Peru, plans to boost annual sales to $2 billion by 2013, its chief executive said on Tuesday, as the company looks to expand in Latin America.

Leslie Pierce, CEO of Alicorp, speaks during an interview as part of the Reuters Latin America Investment Summit in Lima, April 1, 2008. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Foreign acquisitions and exports figure prominently in the company’s growth plan, said CEO Leslie Pierce.

“In the next five years, we should double sales ... to above $2 billion,” Pierce told the Reuters Latin American Summit.

Alicorp’s 2007 sales totaled 2.805 million soles (about US$1 billion). It sells everything from cookies to ketchup.

“We are looking very closely at acquisition opportunities in the region, like in Central America and the Caribbean,” said Pierce, who also mentioned Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina as possible areas of interest.

Alicorp already has manufacturing operations in Peru and distribution hubs in Ecuador and Colombia.

Foreign sales make up about 15 percent of Alicorp’s total sales, said Pierce, who has previously said the company wants to boost exports to about 40 percent of total revenue by 2017.

The company plans to invest $15 million in Peru in 2008, mostly for maintenance, said Pierce.

“I don’t mean to say that we will not grow in Peru, but we believe we should diversify at a regional level,” said Pierce.

Alicorp, which makes and markets food and mass consumer good like detergents, shampoo and mayonnaise, saw profit rise about 9 percent last year.

“The company is in a very good position to launch important growth,” said Pierce. “2008 will be a good year.”

($1 = 2.73 soles)

(For the summit blog: summitnotebook.reuters.com/)

Reporting by Maria Luisa Palomino and Dana Ford; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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