INDIA – Lactalis India, a subsidiary of French firm Groupe Lactalis, is eyeing a turnover of Rs 4,500 crore (about US$602.7 million) in the 2021/22 financial year, betting heightened sales of the recently launched Lactel brand.

Speaking to the press, Lactalis India managing director Rahul Kumar noted that the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted the dairy business in India leading to depressed sales. 

As a result, the Lactalis India MD noted that for the FY2020/21, the dairy company expected revenues to be close to Rs 3,500 crore (US$468.78 million). 

“For 2021-22, we will be targeting Rs 4,500 crore revenue from all three (acquired) companies (Tirumala,Anik, Prabhat),” he said. 

Groupe Lactalis first entered India in 2014 when it acquired dairy manufacturer Tirumala in 2014 to serve the southern market. 

The French dairy company later acquired another dairy maker Anik in 2016 to serve Northern markets before expanding into India’s western market through the acquisition of dairy products maker Prabhat in 2018. 

With the acquisitions, Lactalis was positioning itself to acquire more market share in India where the ready-to-drink milk segment was growing at a rate of 15 percent year on year. 

To further expand its capacity, the company revealed that it has been investing about ₹50 crores (US$669,617) in enhancing the capacities and technology at its three plants. 

In November last year, Lactalis India MD Rahul Kumar said that the company plans to double its investments in India to ₹100 crores (US$13.4 million) from the next fiscal onwards to meet rising demand.  

A major portion of the funds would be used for setting up a new powder plant, increasing the production capacity of Prabhat’s cheese plant, and on the procurement side. 

Late last year, Lactalis also launched its flagship dairy brand Lactel in India to give Indian consumers a taste of “high-quality products meeting existing French, Indian & global standards.” 

The entry of Lactel was to be the crowning jewel to Lactalis’ over 5-year investment in India and is meant to be a game-changer in the company’s plan for greater market share.  

With Lactel already launched in India and available as UHT-toned milk in a 1-liter pack, the company expects to garner around five percent market share in two years. 

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