Rhodes Food Group Holdings is expanding its business.Photo Supplied
DURBAN - JSE-listed Rhodes Food Group Holdings (RFG) has committed itself to investing more than R1billion in the next three years to expand its capacity and enhance production efficiencies.

The group said yesterday it planned to invest the money in new facilities and upgrading existing ones.

These include the installation of a clear-juice-concentrate plant at the Groot Drakenstein production hub, commissioning a new baked beans production facility in Gauteng, upgrading production facilities at Pakco and Ma Baker, as well as a new food technology laboratory and product development centre.

In the six months to end March it ploughed R268million into capital projects - from R233m spent last year.

Chief executive Bruce Henderson said Rhodes Food, which owns 15 production facilities across South Africa and Swaziland, wanted to gain more market share through acquisitions and organic growth.

The group would also increase brand shares and extract benefits from recent acquisitions and major projects. “We will maintain the momentum in sub-Saharan Africa and expect to benefit from the addition of the Pakco brands to our product offering.”

Rhodes Food acquired Dur- ban-based food manufacturer Pakco in 2016 for R197m after the acquisition of Ma Baker Pies for R212m. Other RFG brands include Bull Brand, Magpie, Squish, Bisto and Hinds, which along with Pakco grew regional sales by 19.5percent and 7.6 percent, excluding acquisitions, for the period. The regional business accounts for 84percent of RFG’s revenue.

Henderson said Pakco performed ahead of expectations in its first full year in the group.

“Pakco products are gaining good traction in the market, and the relaunch of the brand portfolio in March will add further sales momentum.

“We have introduced extensive product innovation, new pack formats and refreshed packaging designs across the Bisto, Hinds, Pakco and Southern Coating brands,” he said.

RFG shares fell 2.33 percent yesterday to close at R17.60.

- BUSINESS REPORT