The project of commercial expansion outside Europe, which Natra announced in 2010, is now giving off visible after consolidating specialized sales teams in these international markets, with significant growth in revenues and production volumes, and a portfolio of premium products designed for the specific needs of the different markets and consumer cultures.
At the end of 2011, the turnover of the Final Product Division of Natra in non-European markets increased by 52% over the previous year, reaching around 30 million Euros, and representing 12.4% of the turnover of this division. The company expects sales in these markets to grow around 35% in 2012, together with an increase in production over 20%.
After the first two years, the export activity of the Final Product Division of Natra currently covers 42 countries outside Europe, with a special focus in North America (42% of the sales outside Europe), and Asia Pacific-Oceania (25%), all through an own sales network onsite.
In the North American market, the growth of the private label in traditionally brand-consumer countries is accelerating the entry of Natra as a supplier of leading retail chains, while the productive capacity of the company and its competitive price is enabling Natra to establish important manufacturing relationships with brands. In this sense, the company has recently closed a contract with one of the benchmarks in the U.S., which will represent around 25% of the production that Natra expects to allocate to this market in 2012.
In parallel, increased demand for Belgian chocolate in Asia is also allowing Natra to make significant progress in this geographical area. As an example, in 2011 the company increased eightfold volume of chocolates sold in China. The good advance of export projects is motivating the company to strengthen the sales team in this area.
According to Mikel Beitia, CEO of Natra: “The business plan of the company for these new markets is based on gradually replicate in all of them the development model already consolidated in Europe and subsequently initiated in North America, where Natra has managed to establish strong business relationships with leading retailers, relying on a strong production capacity, an active policy of innovation and product development and a strong flexibility and responsiveness to the needs of each customer”.
Natra will disclose the full results of its activities for 2011 on 29 February, after the market close.