Highland Group, South Korea's leading meat importer by trading volumes, is on track to expand its overseas business partnerships to become the South Korean version of U.S. food firm Sysco Corp., the company's chief executive has said.
"We aim to achieve sales of 5 trillion won (US$3.8 billion) by 2030 based on overseas business partnerships, investments in domestic facilities, and meat processing into 'K-foods' for global sales,"
The unlisted company expects to earn more than 1 trillion won this year, up from 940 billion won the previous year, despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.
Its overall meat imports are expected to reach 113,000 metric tons this year, up from 101,478 metric tons last year.
To change the status quo, Highland set up its wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Highland USA Inc., in Texas in July last year.
Highland also looks to Europe for the same purpose, with a plan to set up a wholly owned subsidiary in Spain this month to support operations in the single economic bloc. It has similar plans in Brazil and Thailand, which supply a large amount of chickens.
To achieve economies of scale, Highland plans to invest a combined 250 billion won to build two logistics and meat-processing facilities -- the Busan Center in the southern port city of Busan and the Metro Center in Icheon, just south of Seoul -- by 2022 and 2024, respectively.
"We don't have an immediate plan to go public, but we are open to investments from global strategic partners, such as meat producers, investment banks and state lenders," Youn said.